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QK 
81 
H88 
1907 
IST SER 



[LIAR 
DEN50 
VERS 






From the Library 

of 
JOCELYN BROOKE 



G/0 




WALL FLOWER. 






FAMILIAR 
GARDEN FLOWERS 



FIGURED BY 

F. EDWARD H.ULME, F.L.S., F.S.A. 

AXD DESCRIBED BY 

SHIRLEY HIBBERD 



' Where does the wisdom and the power divine 
In a more bright and sweet reflection shine ? 
Where do we finer strokes and colours see 
Of the Creator's real poetry, 
Than when we with attention look 
Upon the third day's volume of the Book ? 
If we could open and intend our eye, 
We all like Moses should espy, 
Even in a hush, the radiant Deity." 

COWLEY, TTie Garden, Essay V. 



jftrst 
WITH COLOURED PLATES 



CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED 

LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK, TORONTO AND MELBOURNE 

MCMVH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



PREFACE. 

LIGHT words are at times more serviceable than learned 
lines, and persuasions are often more effective ' than 
arguments. This is especially the case in respect of 
subjects that are adapted for universal enjoyment, and 
that appeal to feeling first and afterwards arouse 
curiosity and set the mind to work. Garden flowers 
give more delight, perhaps, to those who study their 
history and cultivation and uses, than to such as 
admire them but in a casual way, and who may be 
said to smile and pass on. But in either case the 
gratification, which is one of sentiment in the first 
instance, becomes an intellectual exercise, and may be 
aided by one given to gossiping, and with a little 
knowledge to flavour his words. It is with some such 
purpose the following papers have been penned to ac-^ 
company a series of pictures adapted to awaken and 

sustain an interest in " familiar garden flowers." 

S. H. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

WALLFLOWEB .' ...'....... 1 

MONKSHOOD .,.,.., 5 

PETUNIA ............. 9 

WHITE LILY 13 

CANARY FLOWEB 17 

PHLOX o.o 21 

MICHAELMAS DAISY 25 

SINGLE FUCHSIA 29 

CHRISTMAS EOSE 33 

LAVENDER ....,, 37 

CANTERBURY BELL 41 

RUDBECKIA ....,. 45 

MARIGOLD .49 

BALSAM ,.,.,., 53 

YORK AND LANCASTEB EOSB . . . ...... 57 

COMMON MARIGOLD 61 

JESSAMINE 65 

BLUE SAGE . 69 

INDIAN PINK 73 

GLADIOLUS 77 

VIRGINIAN STOCK 81 

BLUE LOBELIA . . 85 



vi CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

COMMELINA 89 

COLUMBINE , . 93 

WINTEB JASMINE , 97 

BBOWALLIA 101 

EVEBLASTING PEA , . . 105 

WHITE BEGONIA. 109 

SWEET PEA , . .... 113 

HONEYSUCKLE . ... 117 

CKIMSON FLAX . ......... c , 121 

IBIS - .125 

CBIMSON PETUNIA 129 

ASTEB. . . . . . . . '. . . . . .133 

SNOWDEOP . 13" 

PUEPLE CLEHATTB ' 141 

TUBE'S CAP, OB YELLOW MAETAGON LILY ...... 145 

CEOCUS 149 

POPPY 153 

WINTEE ACONITE ....... .157 



SYNOPSIS. 



THE subjoined notes will be useful to readers who desire more information 
of a scientific and technical nature than is embodied in the sketches that 
accompany the plates. To arrange them otherwise than in accordance with 
the arrangement of subjects in the body of the work would appear an incon- 
gruity ; and as each note is complete in itself, the lack of scientific sequence 
is probably of no consequence. It is impossible, indeed, in such a work as 
the present, to follow any system, unless it be that of the butterfly, which 
probably knows but little of botany, but appears to be perfectly happy in 
going from flower to flower. 

WALLFLOWER, or CHEIRANTHUS. The English name 
refers to the habit of the plant as an inhabitant of walls and rocks; the 
Latin name implies that it is in an especial manner a nosegay or " hand" 
flower. N.O., Crucifera. LINN^AN: 15, Tetradynamia. The cruciferous 
order is one of the most natural as well as most important of the great 
families of the vegetable kingdom, as it includes the cabbages, cauliflowers, 
cresses, mustards, turnips, colzas, horse-radish, sea-kale, and an immense 
number of ornamental plants, of which the candytuft, stock, wallflower, and 
arabis are familiar examples. Many of the plants of this order are characterised 
by a volatile acridity and a pungent flavour ; they are stimulant and anti- 
scorbutic ; none of them are poisonous. Most of them are annual or biennial 
herbs ; some are perennial and sub-shrubby ; all have alternate leaves 
without stipules ; the flowers are hermaphrodite, regular, and consist of a 
calyx of four pieces and a corolla of four petals clawed at the base and 
arranged opposite each other in the form of a cross ; hence the term " cruci- 
ferous." The stamens are six in number, four of which are longer than the 
other two. The stigma is two-lobed. The ovary is superior, with two cells 
separated by a partition to which the ovules are attached. The fruit is a 
silique, or a silicic, dry, one or many seeded, and usually opening in two 
valves. The seeds are without albumen, but in many instances contain oil, 
which is removed by expression for commercial purposes. p. 1. 

ACONITTTM, most probably from Acma, the place where it was 
first found. N.O., Ranunculacea:. LnraasAN: 13, Polyandria ; 2, Trigynia. 
The ranunculus or crowfoot family consists of herbaceous and half -shrubby 
plants, witft leaves alternate, divided, aad widened at the base, where they 



viii FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

form a sheath round the stem. The flowers vary much in their disposition, 
having sometimes a whorl of three leaves close to them or at some distance 
below. The calyx consists of three to six pieces ; the corolla contains petals 
that have a distinct numerical relation to the leaves of the calyx, being equal, 
double or triple. Thus the buttercups have usually a calyx of five leaves 
and a corolla of five petals ; but the pilewort, or lesser celandine, has usually 
three sepals and nine petals ; while the peony has five sepals and five to ten 
petals. The stamens are generally numerous, distinct, and situated under 
the ovary. The carpels, or seed-vessels, are sometimes one-seeded and 
collected in a head or capitule ; or many-seeded and combined in a whorl ; 
or are compressed so as to form a many-celled pistil. All the ranunculaceous 
plants have watery juices, and are more or less acrid and poisonous, and the 
roots are often more decidedly poisonous than the stems and leaves. But the 
poisonous principle is destroyed by boiling or drying ; hence some of these 
plants are used for food when cooked, and the poisonous crowfoots of our 
meadows, which are never touched by cattle, become wholesome fodder when 
dried in the form of hay. The aconite may be distinguished from all other 
members of the ranunculus family by the fact that the large uppermost 
segment of its calyx overhangs the petals and other parts in the form of a 
helmet. p. 5. 

PETUNIA, from pettin, the Brazilian name for tobacco. N.O., 
Solanaceee. LINN^EAN: 5, Pentandria ; 1, Monogynia. This order is com- 
posed of herbs or shrubs, rarely of arborescent plants, with colourless juices, 
round or irregularly angled stems or branches, sometimes armed with thorns 
or prickles ; their leaves alternate, simple, entire, or lobed ; the inflorescence 
is variable, mostly axillary, sometimes terminal; the flowers regular and 
united; the calyx is five-parted, persistent; corolla monopetalous, five- cleft 
or four-cleft, regular, deciduous ; stamens inserted upon the corolla, as many 
as the segments of the limb, and alternate with them ; ovary two or four- 
celled, stigma simple ; fruit either a capsule or a berry ; seeds numerous. A 
large and somewhat anomalous order, comprehending many useful and many 
noxious plants, as, for example, the potato, tomato, nightshade, egg-plant, 
capsicum, henbane, and tobacco. Between the flower of the potato and that 
of the petunia what a difference, and yet we are to regard them as somewhat 
nearly related ! p. 9. 

LILIUM, from leirion, or from the Celtic li, white. N.O., Liliacea. 
LINN.EAN: 6, Hexandria ; 1, Monogynia. The lily worts are endogenous 
plants widely scattered over the globe, and comprehending the dracasuas, 
yuccas, aloes, and asparagus, as well as the true lilies, which for the most 
part produce fleshy bulbs of annual duration. The leaves are always simple 
and undivided, and usually have the veins running straight from the base to 
the apex, but in some dracaenas they diverge from the midrib to the margin. 
The flower consists of six perianth pieces, six stamens with anthers opening 
inwards, and a superior three- celled ovary changing to a three-celled fruit- 



SYNOPSIS. ix 

The true lilies have a longitudinal nectariferous furrow at the base of each 
petal or perianth piece, an undivided style, a capitate stigma, and flat seeds. 
The colour of the flowers is white, yellow, or red. p. 13. 

TROP2EOLUM, from tropaion, a trophy. N.O., Tropceolacea. 
LINN.EAN: 8, Octandria; 1, Monogynia. p. 17. 

PHLOX, from phlox, a flame, in allusion to the splendour of the 
flowers. N.O., Polemoniacece. LINN^AN: 5, Pentandria ; 1, Monogynia. 
The order represented by Polernoniuin consists, for the most part, of herbaceous 
plants with alternate leaves, regular flowers which have a five-cleft calyx, 
and a five-lobed corolla consisting of one piece as in the primulas. The 
stamens are five in number, inserted alternately with the lobes of the corolla; 
ovary three -celled, fruit a capsule. There is not much to be said of this 
order, as it has no important place in the arts, and it is restricted in its forms 
and geographical distribution. It is more largely represented in the new 
than in the old world, and the majority of its members are found in tem- 
perate climates, a few of the smaller kinds giving a glow of colour to alpine 
and sub-arctic scenery. As garden plants, many of them are of great im- 
portance, as not only the phlox, but the gilia, ipomopsis, cobaea, leptosiphou, 
and the lovely cantua are members of the order. p. 21. 

MICHAELMAS DAISY.-See "Aster," p. xiv., Vol. I. 

p. 25. 
SINGLE FUCHSIA. See "Fuchsia," p. xiii., Vol. III. 

p. 29. 

CHRISTMAS ROSE, or HELLEBORUS. The familiar 
name needs no explanation. Helle/borus is from the Greek hclein, to kill, 
and bora, food, implying a poisonous plant, which this certainly is. N.O., 
Ranunculacece. LINNJEA.N : 13, Polyandria ; 6, Polygynia. See under 
" Acouitum," p. vii., Vol. I. p. 33. 

LAVENDER, from Latin lavo, to wash. N.O. Lamiacece, or Labi- 
at((. LISTIOEAN: 14, Didynamia; 1, Gymnospermia. The labiate order is 
marked with strong characters, and constitutes a distinct though extremely 
large group. The members of it are mostly herbs and low shrubs with square 
stems, opposite leaves, and aromatic juices ; the flowers are singularly formed ; 
the calyx is bell-shaped with five teeth ; the corolla tubular, irregular, two- 
lipped, the upper o'ne very short and sometimes wanting ; stamens four ; 
ovary four-lobed ; stigma two-cleft ; fruit composed of four one-seeded nuts 
enclosed in the interior of the permanent calyx. A large proportion of the 
most useful aromatic herbs belong to this order, such as sage, thyme, mar- 
joram, mint, betony, ground ivy, &c. About 1,714 species are known, of 
which over 1,000 belong to the eastern hemisphere. The temperate and 
warm temperate parts of the earth are largely occupied with labiates ; there 
are but few in the Equinoctial regions, and still fewer are Arctic. p. 37. 



x FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

CAMPANULA, from Lat. campana, a little bell. X.O., Campanu- 
lacece. LINN.ZEAN : 5, Pentandria ; 1, Monogynia. This order consists for 
the most part of leafy herbs with alternate leaves, which sometimes contain a 
milky juice. The flowers are hermaphrodite and regular, consisting of a 
persistent calyx, usually of five divisions, but sometimes of three or eight. 
Corolla inserted in the summit of the tube of the calyx, usually five-lobed, 
and bell or saucer-shaped ; stamens five, inserted in the summit of the tube 
of the calyx ; ovary inferior, with two, three, or five many-ovuled seeds ; 
fruit a capsule containing many seeds attached to a central placenta. A 
comparative^ unimportant order, the members of which are esteemed for 
their beauty. p. 41. 

RUDBECKIA, named after O. Kudbeck, a Swedish botanist. 
N.O., Asteracece. LINNJEAN : 19, Syngenesia; 3, Frustranea. See under 
"Aster," p. xiv., Vol. I. p. 45. 

MARIGOLD. See under "Aster," p. xiv., Vol. I. p. 49. 

BALSAM, or IMPATIENS. The word balsam explains itself, 
although the plant does not furnish any oil or balm or resin that might 
be so called. The term impatiens refers to the hasty escape of the seeds 
when the pod is touched. N.O., Balsaminacea. LINN^AN : 5, Pentan- 
dria ; 1, Monogynia. The order consists chiefly of succulent herbs, with 
sometimes radical leaves, but more frequently caulescent leaves which are 
alternate or opposite ; flowers irregular, issuing from the axils of the leaves ; 
calyx with five segments, which are petal-like and unequal ; corolla with five 
petals alternate with the segments of the calyx, the anterior petal large and 
concave, the two posterior united with the two small lateral ones ; stamens 
five; fruit a capsule with five many-seeded cells beneath, but one-celled 
above and opening in five elastic valves. A small order containing no 
plants of special interest or importance. p. 53. 

YORK AND LANCASTER ROSE. See under "Eosa," 
p. xi., Vol. II. P. 57. 

MARIGOLD, or CALENDULA. N.O., Asteracece. LIN- 
N.EAN : 12, Syngenesia; 4, Necessaria. p. 61. 

JESSAMINE, or JASMINE. N.O., Jasminacece. LINN^AN: 
2, Diandria ; 1, Monogynia. Climbing shrubs or miniature trees, with 
leaves opposite or alternate ; trifoliate or unequally pinnate, without stipules ; 
flowers hermaphrodite, regular ; calyx of five to eight lobes ; corolla with 
fire to eight lobes; stamens two; ovary two-celled; fruit a double berry or 
duplex capsule. A small order, the members of which are met with in 
tropical and warm temperate climates. In many instances the flowers 
abound in a fragrant essential oil. p. 65. 



SYNOPSIS. jri 

SAL VI A, from salvo, to save, in allusion to the medicinal properties 
of the sage and other aromatic plants of the same genus. N.O., Lamiacece, 
or Lipworts. LINN^AN : 2, Diandria ; 1, Monogynia, This order has 
several distinctive characters. The stems are four-cornered, the leaves 
are opposite, replete with receptacles of aromatic oil ; the flowers in whorls 
or opposite cymes, the corolla bilabiate, the upper lip overlapping the 
lower, which is larger and three-lobed ; the fruits are small nuts enclosed 
within the persistent calyx. As they come near to borageworts, note 
should be taken of their square stems and irregular flowers, for borage - 
worts have round stems and regular flowers. The labiates are natives of 
temperate regions chiefly, and are very abundant. In the cooler parts of 
India there are over two hundred species ; they love dry sunny places, as is 
the case generally with aromatic plants. In the arts they are much used, as 
in the preparation of perfumes and sauces ; a few are eatable, and many 
have valuable medicinal properties. The famous patchouli is a labiate ; 
lavender, mint, horehound, and rosemary are familiar labiates renowned for 
their several uses. As regards the rosemary there can be no question of its 
power of encouraging the growth of hair, and thereby curing baldness ; it is 
used also in the manufacture of Hungary water, and contributes in an 
especial degree to the pungent aroma of eau de Cologne. The famous 
Narbonne honey is derived from the flowers of rosemary, which abounds in 
that district of France. p. 69. 

INDIAN PINK, or DIANTHUS, from dios, divine, and 
anthos, flower, the divine flower. N.O., Cari/ophyllacece. LiNN-asAx: 10, 
Decandria ; 2, Digynia. See under " Lychnis," p. viii., Vol. V. p. 73. 

GLADIOLUS, from gladius, a sword, in allusion to the form of the 
leaves. ~S.Q.,Iridacece. LINN^AN : 3, Triandria; 1, Monogynia. Although 
the Cape species of gladiolus are best known in gardens, there are a few 
European species, and two of them are found wild in Britain. Gladiolus 
segetum, the cornflag, and G. commimis, which may be called English if not 
British, very fairly represent the family, and are worthy of the special 
attention of the rambling botanist. Hitherto, however, G. communis has 
only been found amongst the bracken near Lyndhurst, in the New Forest. 
See under " Iris," p. xiv., Vol. I. p. 77. 

MALCOMIA. Named after W. Malcom, mentioned by Ray. 
N" O., Cmciferce. LINN^EAN: 15, Tetradynamia. See under "Wallflower," 
p. vii., Vol. I. p. 81. 

LOBELIA, named after M. Lobel, botanist. N.O., LobeUacea. 
LINNJEAN : 5, Pentandria ; 1, Monogynia. This order consists almost exclu- 
sively of herbs and under-shrubs of suspicious qualities. The leaves are 
alternate and simple ; the flowers irregular ; the corolla five-lobed ; the fruit 
a capsule opening at the top. The species are, for the most part, moisture- 
loving plants, possessing acrid juices of the most poisonous nature. p. 85. 



xiv FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

the fact that it first acquired proper renown there, arid being used by a cul- 
tivated people, obtained through them, an honourable place in literature 
This plant, everywhere grown for its tenacious fibres, is comparatively 
unknown in gardens, and the observer of vegetable forms who is unac- 
quainted with it may be advised to sow a few common flax seeds in the 
spring, and in due time look for an elegant tuft of vegetation crowned with 
pretty blue flowers. p. 121. 

IRIS, from iris, the rainbow. N.O., Iridacece. LINNJEAN : 3, Tri- 
andria ; 1, Monoyynia, This order consists entirely of herbs that have 
fibrous, tuberous, or bulbous roots; but the "bulbs" of this order are 
not formed of scales like those of lilies, but are woody, and multiply by a 
new growth at the summit, which true bulbs never do ; hence the bulb-like 
roots of these plants are called conns. The order comprehends the iris and 
crocus of the northern hemisphere. All are furnished with sword-shaped 
or sickle-shaped leaves ; the flowers are hermaphrodite, regular and irregular, 
enclosed before opening in a sheath ; the perianth has six divisions arranged 
in. two series ; there are three stamens ; the fruit is a three-celled capsule. 
There are several edible plants in the order, and a few that furnish aromatic 
drugs, and all the species are highly ornamental. Though a comparatively 
unimportant order it comprises fifty-three genera and 550 species. p. 125. 

CRIMSON PETUNIA. See "Petunia," ^.viii., Vol. I. p. 129. 

ASTER, from Greek aster, a star. N.O., Composite, or Asteracece. 
LINNJEAN : 19, Syngenesia ; 2, Superjlua. The composite plants have a strong 
family likeness, and yet, owing to the breadth and fewness of the ray florets 
in the flowers of some kinds, the beginner may occasionally fail to recognise 
them. They are herbaceous plants, or small trees, with leaves opposite or in 
whorls, entire or divided. Flowers hermaphrodite or unisexual, sometimes 
in single heads or capitules, sometimes in compound umbels or corymbs. 
The "composite" character is revealed when we examine one of the 
capitules or stars. This is found to consist of a number of separate flowers, 
varying in structure, packed together on a common receptacle. The 
following may be accepted as a general statement of a very difficult case : 
Every head of flowers, or florets, as they are technically named, has a 
central part, or disc, and a circumference, or ray ; of these florets some 
are regularly tubular, with their limb cut into four or five segments ; others 
are slit up on one side, opened flat, and turned towards the circumference 
of the head ; the latter are named ligulate florets. When in a head of flowers 
all the florets are alike and ligulate, it belonged to the division Cichoracece, as 
in the dandelion ; if the florets of the disc were tubular, and those of the 
circumference only ligulate, it was referrible to Corymbiferte, as in the mari- 
gold ; and when all the florets are alike tubular, both in the disc and ray, it 
belonged to Cynarocephala, provided the involucre was at the same time stiff 
and ovate, as in the thistle. The latter character was necessary in order to 
distinguish Cynaroeephalce from those of Corymbifera, in which the ray is not 
developed, as common groundsel. To these three divisions a fourth has in 



SYNOPSIS. xv 

later times been added under the name of Labiatlflorce, in consequence of the 
florets having distinctly two lips of unequal size. These divisions have, 
however, been thought objectionable on several accounts, and De Candolle, 
following Cassini and Lessing, has trusted more to modifications of the style, 
the result of which is the following arrangement of the order in eight tribes, 
named respectively Vernoniacece, Eupatoriacece, Asteroidete, Senecionideai, 
0>/>iarcfc, Mtitisiacea, Nassauviacete, Cichoraceae. A very large order, the 
members of which are met with in every part of the world. They are 
mostly astringent, tonic, and aromatic, affording foods', fibres, dyes, and 
drugs. There is scarcely a poisonous plant in the family. p. 133. 

SNOWDROP. The name is explained in the text. N.O., Amaryl- 
lidacece, the Amaryllis family. LINN^EAN : 6, Hexandria ; 1, Honogynia. 
A casual inspection of the flower by one unskilled in botany will result in a 
conviction of an alliance of the snowdrop with the lilies, but the snowdrop is 
simply not a lily but an amaryllid. Between the two families the differences 
are not many, but there are differences, and one of the principal is the 
inferior position of the ovary. This is a large order, comprising the snow- 
flake, snowdrop, vallotta, pancratium, narcissus, the agave, and the " giant 
lily" of Australia, doryanthes. They are widely distributed and are plentiful 
in the southern hemisphere. A large proportion of them possess acrid juices, 
one of the number, the beautiful Hcemanthns toxiearia, being employed by 
the Hottentots to poison their arrows. An important amaryllid is the 
American agave, often, but mistakenly, called " aloe. " From this noble 
thick-leaved plant a valuable fibre is obtained, and from the juice of its 
leaves the Mexicans prepare the celebrated drink called "pulque." The 
snowdrop was valued in ancient times for medical purposes, as also for a 
distillation of its juices employed as a cosmetic. But it is no longer used for 
such purposes, and lives unmolested, establishing its rights by its beauty 
alone. p. 137. 

CLEMATIS, from klema, a vine, or climber. From the same root we 
have in Dutch, climbop, the ivy, a very picturesque though strictly classic 
name. N.O., Eanunculacece. LINN^IAN : 13, Polyandria; 6, Polygynia. 
The clematis section of crowfoots stands far apart in all its prominent 
characters from the buttercups and anemones that are classed in the same 
order. It agrees with them in the possession of an acrid juice which produces 
inflammation when applied to the skin, and if taken internally is irritant and 
may prove fatally poisonous. In the buttercup we see the leaves placed 
alternately, and their bases sheathe the stem ; in the clematis the leaves are 
opposite, and do not sheathe the stem. In the insertion of the stamens on 
the receptacle all the members of this order agree. A large proportion of the 
species of clematis are climbing shrubs of temperate climes, a few are herba- 
ceous, and all are ornamental, even our wilding of the hedgerows, the 
traveller's-joy, or Clematis vitalba, being extremely elegant, if not so showy 
as the exotic species that are now so much cultivated. p. 141. 



xvi FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

YELLOW MABTAGON LILY. See under "Lilium," 
p. viii., Vol. I. p. 145. 

CROCUS, from Greek crocus, saffron. Holinshed (" England," c. 8), 
says that " a certain young gentleman named Crocus went to plaie at coits in 
the field with Mercuric, and being heedlesse of himself e, Mercuric' s coit 
happened by mishap to hit him on the head," &c. &c. The coit killed him, 
and saffron sprung from the ground whereon he had bled, and was called 
crocus in commemoration of the event. N.O., Iridacece. LIXX.EAX: 3, 
Triandria ; 1, Monogynia. p. 149. 

POPPY, or PAPAVEB. N.O., Papaveracea:. LINIUEAN : 13, 

Polyandria; 1, Monogynia. See under " Eschscholtzia," p. ix., Vol. II. 

p. 153. 
WINTEB ACONITE. See under " Aconitum," p. vii., Vol. I. 

p. 157. 



I will not praise the often-flattered rose, 
Or, virgin-like, -with blushing charms half seen, 
Or when, in dazzling splendour, like a queen, 

All her magnificence of state she shows ; 

No, nor like that nun-like lily which but blows 
Beneath the valley's cool and shady screen, 
Nor yet the sunflower, that, with warrior mien, 

Still eyes the orb of glory where it glows ; 

But thou, neglected wallflower ! to my breast 
And muse art dearest wildest, sweetest flower ! 
To whom alone the privilege is given 

Proudly to root thyself above the rest, 
As Genius does, and, from thy rocky tower, 
Lend fragrance to the purest breath of heaven. 



FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 



THE WALLFLOWER. 

Cheiranthus Cheiri. 

HE wallflower is a prominent 
member of the cheerful family 
of " old-fashioned " flowers, and 
obviously takes its name from 
the circumstance that it thrives 
on walls, which, indeed, it often 
adorns in a most extravagant and 
delightful manner, making them 
mountains of perfume and beacons 
of fire. I was much struck with 
the glow of an old bastion at 
Amiens one April, as the sun- 
shine streamed through its ruddy 
bloom of wallflowers, and I very 
gladly remembered, in connection 
with the charming spectacle, the 
lines of Bernard Barton, in refer- 
ence to the wallflowers of Leiston 
Abbey 

And where my favourite abbey rears on high 

Its crumbling ruins, on their loftiest crest, 
Ye wallflowers, shed your tints of golden dye, 

On which the morning sunbeams love to rest, 
On which, when glory fills the glowing west. 




2 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The parting splendours of the day's decline, 
With fascination to the heart address'd, 

So tenderly and beautifully shine, 
As if reluctant still to leave that hoary shrine." 

A snapdragon might, with perfect propriety, be called 
a " wall " flower, and a full list of plants that commonly 
grow on walls would include a considerable number of dear 
old garden friends. The finest wallflower I have seen was 
a great tuft of wheat that kept company with snapdragons 
and stone-crops and pellitories on one of the old fruit 
walls within view of my bedroom windows. I watched it 
through the summer with ever-increasing joy, anticipating 
the harvesting of the crop, and the feeding of my parrots 
with the " golden " grains. But when they, were about 
half -ripe I saw, as I gazed from my window, a great hand 
rise above the wall and grasp them, and they disappeared 
as in the twinkling of an eye, while a thrill of horror went 
through me from head to foot. It was the gardener, who 
had suddenly resolved to make the wall tidy. 

The wallflower has no special renown in literature, and 
is but rarely mentioned by the poets. It is not a native 
of this country, and although so thoroughly at home as a 
wilding on ruins, it is not known as a plant of the rocks, 
and is not often met with remote from places that have 
been modified by the hand of man. Its old name was 
" stock-gillofer " and " wall-gilloflower/' Under the last 
name Parkinson, in the " Paradisus/' describes seven sorts : 
the Common Single, the Great Single, the White, the 
Common Double, the Pale Double, the Double Red, and 
the Double Yellow. The " streaked gillivors " that Perdita 
speaks of as "nature's bastards" were, in all probability, 
pinks or cloves, but the wallflower and the stock were 



Tfr WALLFLOWER. 3 

known by the same name, and therefore we cannot always 
determine with precision the flowers referred to when 
gillivor or gilloflower occurs in our older literature. The 
Latin name, Cheiranthns, means " hand-flower/' and it is 
most appropriate. 

The cultivation of this flower is an extremely simple 
affair. The seeds should be sown on a plot of newly-dug 
ground in the month of May; and during rainy weather in 
July, the plants should be transplanted into rows a foot 
apart, and the plants six inches apart in the rows. In 
September or October they should be lifted with care and 
be at once planted where they are to flower, and in the 
months of April and May following they will be gay 
enough. The best of the double kinds is the sulphur 
yellow, which may be grown into a tree of considerable 
size, and if planted in a dry sunny situation will last any 
number of years, and may, indeed, become the pride of the 
garden. To multiply this variety, cuttings are taken, 
when they are full-grown but have not become woody, 
and being planted firmly in sandy soil and kept shaded or 
covered with a hand-glass, soon make roots, and in the 
following spring they may be planted out. Well-grown 
double walls make fine pot plants for the conservatory, and 
with a little careful forcing may be had in bloom at the 
turn of the year, and will continue flowering until mid- 
summer. The conditions of success are to be found in the 
employment of a gritty and somewhat calcareous soil, and 
affording the plants at all times plenty of light and air. 
Darkness and damp are death to wallflowers. 

" Flower in the crannied wall, 
I pluck you out of the crannies ; 
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand. 



4 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

Little flower but if I could understand 
What you are, root and all, and all in all 
I should know what God and man is." TENNYSON. 

The Parisian gardeners delight the public by adorning 
the borders of the parks and promenades with beds of 
wallflowers of the most lovely description. They are 
grown as recommended above, and are planted so as to 
form dense convex masses, which, during April and May, are 
literally solid with fiery flowers. They mix the blood-red 
and purple variety, and employ the yellow very sparingly, 
In this country the yellow kinds are the most esteemed for 
bedding purposes, and the favourite sorts are the Belvoir 
Castle Yellow and the orange-coloured Tom Thumb. 

. If it is desired to establish wallflowers on ruins, rocks, 
and walls, the seed should be sown in April or May in 
suitable chinks, and be covered with a little fine soil, and 
it may be well, if there is danger of the seeds being blown 
or washed away, to cover them with a brick or tile until 
they germinate. The single blood-red and single yellow 
are the best for the purpose. 





MONKSHOOD. 




MONKSHOOD. 

-Aconitum napcllus. 

T may be well at times to figure 
and describe familiar flowers 
that should be rendered un- 
familiar. The truly handsome 
and very individual monlcshood 
of the cottage garden is of 
so poisonous a nature, and has 
actually killed so many good 
people, that we should be 
wanting in duty to our readers 
did we not advise the rooting 
out of this grand herbaceous 
plant, and its consignment to 
the rubbish-heap as a plant 
that will surely offend if it 
obtains the opportunity. We 
distinctly remember several 
instances of poisoning by the 
substitution of its fleshy roots 
for horse-radish. We confess we "don't know how'''' any one 
who has ever tasted horse-radish could eat the root of this 
dangerous plant in place of it, however nicely it might be 
scraped and dished ; but the fact remains and the warning 



6 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

follows. As the most excellent apricot jam may be made 
from carrots, and the Jerusalem artichoke, which is like a 
potato, is by many regarded as in no way differing from 
the globe artichoke, which is a fleshy flower of a kind 
of thistle, we must not be in haste to blame people who 
scrape the roots of monkshood and supply the scrapings to 
be eaten with beef as horse-radish ; but we must indulge 
th*e hope that knowledge will prevail, and speedily render 
such a dangerous substitution impossible. 

It is somewhat singular that the older botanists are 
apparently in a fog with this common and characteristic 
plant. Mr. John Gerarde lumps it in with a lot of lark- 
spurs, that are certainly related, but more or less far re- 
moved. His " munkeshood " is a delphinium possessed of 
several virtues, such as being good against the stings 
of scorpions, and "so forcible that the herb only thrown 
before the scorpion, or any other venomous beast, causeth 
them to be without force or strength to hurt, insomuch 
that they cannot mooue or stirre vntill the herbe be taken 
away." (Edition 1597, page 924.) To Master Gerarde's 
honour we are bound to quote further that in his opinion 
we should hold in contempt this " with many other such 
trifling toies not woorth the reading/' 

John Parkinson figures this plant fairly well, and 
describes it with the most delightful minuteness at page 
215 of his " Paradisus." He adds that the "fair blew 
colour " of the flowers " causeth it to be nourished upon 
gardens, that their flowers, as was usual in former times, 
may be laid up among green herbes in windowes and 
roomes for the summer time ; but although their beauty 
may be entertained for the uses aforesaid, yet beware 
they come not near your tongue or lips, lest they tell 



MONKSHOOD. 7 

you to your cost, they are not so good as they seem 
to be/' 

It is amusing to note how these grand old masters, who 
produced such books as we, degenerate triflers, dare not 
even think of because of the years of work and the 
thousands of pounds we should have to expend upon them 
it is amusing to note how they struggled against super- 
stition with the right hand, and occasionally opened the 
door for it to enter with the left. There is a charming 
winter-flowering aconite that should be grown in every 
garden ; its flowers are pale yellow, and it is known as 
Eranthis hy emails, Parkinson's name being Aconltum 
hyemale. This is the " counter-poison monkeshood/' the 
roots of which " are effectual not only against the poison 
of the poisonf ul helmet flower, and all others of that kind, 
but also against the poison of all venomous beasts, tlie 
plague or pestilence, and other infectious diseases, which 
raise spots, pockes, or markes in the outward skin, by ex- 
pelling the poison from within, and defending the heart as 
a most sovereign cordial." 

Apart from the consideration of its possible and actual 
mischievousnes's, the monkshood is a noble border flower. 
It grows to a height of three to four feet, the upper half 
of the strong stems being closely beset with hooded flowers 
of a fine dark blue coldur, elegantly accompanied with 
leaves that are deeply and distinctly cut into narrow- 
pointed segments. Its name, Aconitum napellm, is derived 
from Aconte* the supposed place of its origin, and napus, 
a turnip, from the likeness of its roots to the long white 

* Thcophrastus so derives it, from 'A/coWi, but Ovid derives it from 
aKovrj, as growing on sharp steep rocks. But as all the species require 
some depth of good soil, the reference of Ovid must be to some other plant. 



8 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

turnips that were formerly grown, but are DOW but rarely 
seen in this country. Amongst the allied plants that are 
worth a place in the herbaceous border, and more particu- 
larly in the front of the shrubbery border, the following 
deserve special mention, as they are handsome and by no 
means likely to prove hurtful to life, as the common monks- 
hood always is : Aconitum autumnale, height three feet, 
flowers pale blue; A. japonicum, like the last, but of a fuller 
blue ; A. chinense, height five feet or more, flowers brilliant 
blue a splendid plant, requires a dry, warm border, and 
shelter; A. lycoctonum, height four feet, flowers creamy 
yellow; A. variegatum, height four feet, flowers blue and 
white, a fine plant. All these thrive in common garden 
soil. Those who have peat soil may add to the list A. 
paniculatitm and A. septentrionale ; the first has flowers 
blue and white, the second reddish lavender. 





THE PETUNIA. 

Petunia plmuit'tcfu. 

ETUNIA PHCENICEA is un- 
known in the land of the Phoani- 
cians, being a native of Buenos 
Ayres, v.'hence it was introduced 
in 1831. As a matter of course, 
the spirited maritime nation who 
built Tyre and Sidon, and who 
in their day were proud of their 
King Hiram, friend of Solomon, 
knew nothing of any kind of 
petunia, because, to use the lan- 
guage of a familiar song, the 
New World " had not then been 
invented/' And yet in a certain 
way, by the involutions of lan- 
guage, this plant takes us round 
by way of South America to the eastern 
shores of the Mediterranean, for it is a 
Phoenician flower, and rightly named, and we are bound 
to connect it with the intelligent sailor race who brought 
the ideas and the gold of the east to the southern and 
western coasts of this country, and took away in exchange 
the tin of Cornwall, and the report of our wealth of timber 
and the suitableness of these isles for colonisation. 
B 



10 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The Phoenicians found on their coast an abundance of 
the mollusk (Nassa purpura of naturalists) , from which 
they extracted a purple pigment. This became to them 
an important article of trade,, and the world resounded 
with the praises of " Tyrian dye." The ancients had not 
many colours, and it was but natural the Greeks should 
name the purple they so much esteemed after the people 
who produced it. Thus it became known to them as the 
" Phoenician colour," and the Romans subsequently modi- 
fied the term, so that with them it became the " Punic 
colour." Thus the botanist has been provided with a 
choice of two (in addition to many more) terms available 
for the indication of the colours of flowers. This purple 
or crimson flower of South America he has named Petunia 
phoenicea, and the brilliant glory pea of New Zealand he 
has named Clianthus pnniceus, which, of course, was no 
more known to the Tyrians and Sidonians than the flower 
before us. 

The petunia, is almost a tobacco, and it will interest 
the observant loiterer in the garden to compare it with 
the noble Virginia tobacco, which is well worth growing 
for its stately carriage and beautiful flowers. Indeed, the 
petunia is a tobacco, for its Brazilian name peinn, from 
which is derived petunia, means tobacco, and it is fair 
to suppose that, if the plant were dried and prepared, it 
would be found to possess distinctly fragrant and narcotic 
properties. A sheet of petunias in full flower is a glorious 
sight, and the odour the flowers emit when the sun shines 
full upon them is agreeable, but the plant is not a nice 
one to handle or examine ; its leafage is unhandsome, its 
habit ungainly, its substance is clammy, and certainly 
does at times give the nose a reminder of tobacco. 



THE PETUNIA. 11 

The systematic crossing of a few distinct species of 
petunia has resulted in. the production of a number of 
splendid varieties, which are invaluable as garden plants. 
The showy single white, purple, and striped kinds may 
be raised from seed sown on a hot-bed in March, and 
if plmted out in May will flower superbly as the season 
advances. Treated in this way, the petunia is one of the 
cheapest and grandest of annuals, and as it makes a 
sumptuous bed, the owner of a country garden may turn 
it to good account, especially where the soil is hot and 
sandy, for this suits the plant perfectly. The double 
varieties make magnificent pot plants, and require precisely 
or nearly the same treatment as geraniums, the two grand 
points in their management being to train them with care 
and keep them short and leafy to the bottom. They 
ivquire a light rich soil, and to be safe from all extreme 
conditions, more especially from extreme heat, for when 
unduly forced they become infested with vermin, and if 
they cannot be quickly cleansed by means of tobacco smoke, 
they may as well be destroyed, for when they have once 
gone wrong to any serious extent they never recover. 
Reasonable care, however, will prevent any such mishap, 
and, as remarked above, the matter of main importance 
is to guard against extreme conditions. It is especially 
worthy of remark that the petunia is more hardy than the 
geranium, perhaps even a trifle more hardy than the 
calceolaria ; hence it may be planted out somewhat early 
in May if the weather is cloudy and genial, and if the 
plants escape harm from frost as with a little care in 
sheltering they will they will soon make a free growth 
and shake off any trace of aphis or other insect pest they 
may have been troubled with, and make an early and 



12 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

splendid bloom. It is usual to peg them down when in 
beds, but they thrive better and look better when allowed 
to stand up, and therefore petunias are well adapted to 
form low flowery hedges in the flower garden. In Paris 
they are much employed in this way in combination with 
white " marguerites," the result being a dense hedge of 
about a foot to a foot and a half in height, composed of 
two close lines of purple and white flowers. When enclosing 
a small plot of grass this is very effective. 

The named varieties are propagated from cuttings in 
July and August without the aid of artificial heat. The 
best place wherein to winter them is a cold dry pit, for 
damp is death to them ; they cannot endure a touch of 
frost, and, generally speaking, the greenhouse is too warm. 
When kept sufficiently cool they are entirely free from 
vermin ; indeed, the amateur gardener may with advantage 
regard as a doctrine that the liability of a plant to the 
attacks of vermin is in direct proportion to mismanage- 
ment in respect of temperature and moisture ; generally 
speaking, when a plant becomes covered with " fly " or 
" spider," it is the consequence of insufficient ventilation. 





WHITE LILY. 




THE WHITE LILY. 

Lllium candidum. 

HE common white lily is one of 
the noblest as well as commonest 
flowers of the English garden, 
and a lean ideal of the tenantry 
of the terrestrial paradise of the 
delectable Lady Corisande. Its 
manner is that of a wilding, 
for if a few scales broken from 
a bulb are scattered about a 
irden, some of them will be- 
come true lilies in time; and 
wherever it is planted and left 
alone for a few years, it justifies 
the confidence reposed in it by 
flowering freely, and increasing by the 
formation of new bulbs, so that small 
clumps become large clumps, and may 
be periodically divided. But it is not 
a wilding here, and is but rarely met 
with as an escape from the garden. It is a native of the 
interesting country called the Levant, and as the Levant 
includes Palestine, it is by no means improper to consider 
this as the " lily of the field " referred to by our Lord in 
the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew vi. 28). If, however, 
we seek for a dislinct flower as the lily of the Holy Land, 
we must take note of Canticles vi. 2, where the lily is 



14 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

associated with spices, and this lily has a powerful and 
spicy odour that exactly answers to the suggestion of the 
text. Thus the white lily may be the lily of Solomon, 
because of its powerful fragrance, but the Gocpel lily need 
not be scented, but must be glorious in apparel, comparable 
with this splendid monarch. It happens then that the 
Martagon Lily (L. ckalcedonicum] , which is almost devoid 
of odour, but produces flowers of the most brilliant scarlet, 
like the robes of Solomon, grows in profusion -in the Levant, 
and is especially abundant about the Lake of Gennesaret, 
on the plains of Galilee, and the pastures on the borders of 
the desert. But it must also be borne in mind that the 
s/i a than, or lily of Scripture, may be rendered "rose" or 
" violet " with propriety, and probably had a very broad 
meaning, so that we might read, " Behold the flowers of the 
field, how they grow/' without in the slightest degree mis- 
representing the purpose of our Lord. The word "lily" is 
of unknown origin, and in all its older forms is of general 
application, and therefore we cannot hope to identify with 
certainty ?,ny flower so called in ancient and especially 
Eastern documents. It is none the less interesting, how- 
ever, to note how admirably these two lilies answer to the 
two references cited, so that we may, without resorting to 
invention, regard the scarlet martagon and the common 
white as par excellence the lilies of Scripture. 

It is a question of some interest why the white lily 
was dedicated by the Romish Church to Mary the mother of 
Jesus, and hence employed on the 2nd of July in connection 
with the celebration of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. 
The delicate whiteness of the flower renders it in this 
respect appropriate ; but it is worth considering, too, that it 
is the only flower distinctly mentioned by the Founder of 



THE WHITE LILY. 15 

the Christian faith, for. notwithstanding- the comprehensive 
meaning- of the word as it comes to us in the text, it has been, 
as a matter of fact, generally restricted to a particular flower. 
This dedication of the lily to the Virgin has certainly con- 
tributed in a very material degree to the diffusion and 
popularity of the plant ; and the traveller in Ireland will, in 
the season of lilies, soon learn to distinguish the houses of 
Romanists and Protestants by the lilies in the gardens, for 
while the first plant the white lily as an emblem of their 
faith, the second plant the orange lily for a similar purpose, 
although the last is in reality much more of a political than 
a religious emblem. 

The white lily will thrive in any fairly good soil, but to 
ensure a free growth and an abundance of flowers the soil 
should be rich and deep and moist. It is a good practice, 
therefore, to prepare for the plants suitable stations, and, 
having planted them, the next best thing to do with them 
is to leave them undisturbed for several years. It is often 
thought that lilies love the shade, but that is a mistake ; 
they love the sun and a free circulation of air about them. 
In cold and exposed places the white lily often fails to 
flower, owing to the destruction of the incipient flower-buds 
by frost, in the month of May. Hence shelter from the 
keen east winds is an aid in lily culture, as is also a plentiful 
supply of water during the month of June, when the stems 
are rising. In respect of taste, the white lily should be so 
planted that its shabby stems may be concealed, for when 
wild it grows amongst tall grasses, and hence it is that as 
the flowers expand the leaves below them usually wither. 
The dashing Tritoma and the quiet Agapanthus are good 
plants to associate with lilies, for they agree in character, 
and supply ample and elegant green leafage. 



16 FAMILIAR G AMD EN FLOWERS. 

It is not generally known that the common white lily 
may be grown to perfection in pots, and is well adapted for 
forcing 1 . Its great decorative value, and its emblematic 
character, enhance its importance as a plant adapted for 
culture under glass, to supply its charming flowers at an 
earlier season than they customarily appear in the open 
garden. When grown for this purpose, the bulbs should 
be potted in August, in a compost consisting of about 
three parts mellow turfy loam, and one part each of rotten 
hot-bed manure and sharp sand. Frame culture should 
suffice until the end of February, when the plants may be 
removed into a light airy greenhouse, and should never 
have a temperature higher than the average of greenhouse 
plants. This, with full exposure to light, and abundant 
ventilation, will ensure an early and a vigorous bloom. 





CANARY FLOWER. 




THE CANAKY 
FLOWEK. 

Tropceolum canariense. 
HIS remarkably pretty creeper is 
> known in gardens as Tropaolttm 
canariense, but its recognised 
botanical name is T. aduncum, 
or, in the older books, T. 
peregrinum. The first and 
commonest name suggests that 
it is a native of the Canary 
Islands, and it may indeed have 
come to us from thence, but 
its home as a wilding is New 
Granada. The yellow colour 
may justify the name, for not 

*f ''). I /] only is the canary-bird yellow. 

^ ^wNwHSsSxsT^ , , r u 

but canary wine is or a golden 

hue ; and as the Canary Islands 
were the " Fortunate Isles " of 
the ancients, we may suppose 
them to be as Dick Whittington expected to find 
London streets paved with gold. Strange to say, if 
the case is considered philologically, a Canary Isle is an 
Isle of Dogs, for Juba so named one of the group 
because of the large canine animals he found there, as 
he named another of them Nivaria, the Snow Island, 
c 



18 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

because it is crowned with the peak that is now called 
Teneriffe, which at times is capped with snow. It is 
proper to remark, however, that not only is the flower 
before us of a canary colour, but it bears some resemblance 
to a bird, and in this respect is as curious in its mimicry as 
any of the orchids. Its second name refers to the hooked 
termination of the nectary; and its third name indicates 
that it is a wanderer, a happy vagabond, a plant that 
loves to climb the wall and tumble over in the next 
garden, or, if it gets hold of the trellis next the summer- 
house, will stretch and pull and clamber until it can peep 
in at the little window and say "How d'ye do?" at 
the very moment when you don't want to be disturbed. 
But this Peregrinum must be allowed to indulge in its 
peregrinations, for the joy of the thing is its rampant, 
rambling, and ill-regulated ambition to overstep every- 
thing and everybody. 

We miss here one of the prominent characteristics of 
the tropaeolums, the leaves of which are mostly circular 
and peltate and like a buckler, while the flower is like 
a helmet, and thus together they constitute a trophy, or 
tropaum. The canary creeper has five-lobed leaves and 
bird-like flowers, and a style of growth that separates it 
from the typical tropaeolurns. Its rapidity of growth is 
remarkable, as also is its tendency to be eaten up by the 
little mite known as the "red spider/' when hot, dry 
weather has prevailed a few weeks. Like the general run 
of vagabonds, it is not particular about its life-conditions, 
and having no stamina, it soon breaks down when things 
go wrong. 

The uses of such plants are many. The peculiar light 
green leafage, dotted with yellow flowers, renders this very 



THE CANARY FLOWER. 19 

distinct amongst the fast-growing- trellis and bower plants 
that love to climb high and toss gay garlands in the air. 
The canary creeper may be used with effect to clothe low- 
growing trees of spare habit, as it will soon run up into 
the midst of them and make them gay with golden 
streamers. Care should be taken never to carry this 
sort of gardening too far, because a valueless creeper, that 
lives but a few months at the most, should not be allowed 
to injure a tree that has perhaps a lease of a century to 
honour by profitable occupation of the ground. 

The plant before us is a half-hardy annual, and is 
therefore grown from seeds that are, in the first instance, 
protected from the weather, and afterwards planted out. 
The best way to raise all such plants is to sow the seed 
in the spring on a gentle hotbed in light, rich, and rather 
fine soil, and when the plants are large enough to handle, 
to prick them out two or three inches apart in boxes filled 
with similar mellow soil, or to pot them separately in 
small pots. In any case, when thus transferred from the 
seed-pan they should be nursed under glass for a time in a 
greenhouse or frame, and be gradually hardened by ex- 
posure to the air, to prepare them for planting out. The 
time of sowing and the details of management must, in 
some degree, be determined by .the nature of the plant. It 
is not too early to sow seed in February in some cases, but 
in others March and April are early enough. In the case of 
the canary creeper, it is folly to sow before April, because 
the plant grows rapidly when put out, and it is troublesome 
if it grows to some size previously. For filling the seed- 
pans and the boxes in this preliminary culture, a mixture 
of mellow loam, old hotbecl dung rotted to powder, equal 
parts, with a half part of silver sand, will answer perfectly. 



20 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

It should be free from worms, and moist enough without 
being wet in fact, a good test of a potting compost is 
that it may be handled without soiling the fingers. 
Where there is no accommodation for raising half-hardy 
annuals under glass, the seed may be sown where the 
plants are required in the open ground, but this should 
not be done until the end of April. 

In the " Loves of the Plants," by the elder Darwin, 
the tropseolum is the subject of a fanciful description, in 
which the poet contrives to inform us that the flower has 
eight stamens and one pistil, and that it occasionally emits 
flashes' of phosphoric light : 

" Ere the bright star which tends the morning sky 
Hangs o'er the flushing east his diamond eye, 
The chaste Tropaeo leaves her secret bed ; 
A saint-like glory trembles round her head ; 
Eight watchful swains along the lawns of night 
With amorous steps pursue the virgin light ; 
O'er her fair form the electric lustre plays, 
And cold she moves amid the lambent blaze. 
So shines the glow-fly when the sun retiree, 
And gems the night air with phosphoric fires ; 
Thus o'er the marsh aerial lights betray 
And charm the unwary wanderer fiom his way." 





PHLOX, 




THE PHLOX. 

Phlox paniculata. 

All DEN phloxes are compounds 
of several species, and but little 
of their origin is distinctly 
traceable in their styles of 
growth and flowering. It will 
suffice to say that the so-called 
Phlox decussata and P. pyramir 
da Us, to which most of the 
-garden phloxes are referred, 
have no proper existence as 
species, and for the cultivation 
and classification of phloxes it 
is best to consider the habit 
(whether tall, dwarf, or inter- 
mediate), the time of flowering 
(whether early or late) , and the 
colour and general style of the 
flowers, those that are large 
and circular and produced in 
dense masses being the best. The florist is chiefly concerned 
with their decorative qualities, and will have abundant 
reason to be gratified, provided he has first secured a 
good collection, for the varieties that have been produced 
by cross-breeding within the past ten or twelve years are 



22 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

remarkable for perfection of form and exquisite colouring. 
In self-coloured purple, crimson, and salmon-tinted, and 
in oculate flowers that have white grounds and centres 
delicately stained with rose, carmine, and ruby, this class 
of plants is extremely rich. Of pure whites there are not 
many of good quality, and we have as yet no scarlet, no 
yellow, and no blue phloxes. We may, however, hope 
for scarlet and blue, because in some of the later varieties 
these colours are nearly realised, but we can hardly hope 
for yellow, since nowhere in the genus is there any strong 
leaning that way. As the case stands we have command 
of a sumptuous series of summer and autumn flowers, and 
it is but the simple truth to say that the florists' phloxes 
have pre-eminent claims on the attention of amateurs, 
because of their splendour, their hardiness, cheapness, and 
extreme usefulness, whether to exhibit, to cut from for 
decorations, or to enrich the garden with their noble 
panicles of many-coloured flowers. 

As to the employment of phloxes in the garden, there 
is no method so effective as to dot them about amongst 
trees and shrubs, keeping them, of course, in the fore- 
ground, and ensuring them a sufficiency of air and light. 
As border flowers, they are 'invaluable ; but the least in- 
teresting way of growing them is in large compartments 
of phloxes only, as we see them in nurseries, and in the 
gardens of amateurs who give them particular attention 
for the purpose of exhibiting them. When well grouped 
on the exhibition table they are altogether delightful, but 
a great lot of phloxes in a lump, as it were, in the garden 
is like a mouthful of honej" too rich to be enjoyable, and 
likely to choke one. 

The cultivation of the phlox is a very simple affair. 



THE PHLOX. 23 

The plants being- left in the ground all the winter take 
no harm, and beg-in early in the spring to grow. When 
the new shoots are about two inches high, the roots may 
be lifted and divided, and planted again in freshly-dug 
and liberally- manured ground. In their new stations they 
may be allowed to stand two or three years, and should then 
be taken up, divided, and again planted. This we may 
call the rough-and-ready way, and it has for many years 
past been our way with a collection comprising over a 
hundred varieties. When grown for exhibition, a fresh 
stock should be planted every year in well-manured turfy 
loam, and if the summer should be hot and dry, the plants 
should have liberal help from the water-pot. In making 
plants for ordinary purposes it is quite sufficient- to pull 
off rooted pieces, but when stock of some particular sorts 
is required in quantity, the old stools should be potted and 
gently forced, and the tops should be made into cuttings 
and struck in a gentle heat. By this mode of procedure 
one plant may be made the pai-ent of hundreds, because 
propagating may be continued until far into the month of 
May, and the plants will flower the same season, though 
late perhaps. ' To grow fine phloxes the two important 
points are to renew the plants frequently and feed them 
well. To raise phloxes from seed is an equally simple 
affair. First secure your seed, as Mrs. Glasse might say ; 
and if you begin with first-rate sorts you will not get 
much. Our plan has been to sow in pans as soon as the 
seed was fully ripe, and keep the young plants in a pit 
through the winter. But it will suit amateurs better to 
sow in spring, and we mjist advise keeping the seed-pans 
under glass until the plants are forward, when they may 
be planted in an open mirsery-bed to flower. They should 



24 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

not be planted in the borders until they have flowered and 
proved to be worth keeping. 

The pretty Phlox Drummondi is so surprisingly beauti- 
ful that we cannot but regret it is seldom seen in English 
gai-dens. It is the more valuable now that the distinctive 
colours are easily secured by sowing well-saved seeds, so 
that as a bedding-plant it is not only one of the loveliest, 
but certainly one of the cheapest. If the seed is sown at 
any time between the middle of March and the middle of 
April, and started in a gentle heat, the usual nursing of a 
half-hardy annual will suffice to ensure strong plants to 
put out at the end of May, and this being accomplished, 
there is nothing more to be done, for the showers and 
sunshine will do the rest. In burning summers (of 
which, unfortunately, we have but few) this lovely plant 
holds its own as well as any border plant in cultivation. 
When verbenas and calceolarias have been roasted too 
brown, and even scarlet geraniums are beginning to cry 
for something to drink, Drummond's phlox appears to be 
unconcerned, and goes on blooming as if the hot weather 
had been ordered for it. 





MICHAELMAS DAISY. 




THE MICHAELMAS 
DAISY. 

Aster amelltts. 

ICHAELMAS DAISIES are not in 
high repute, for they are not well 
represented in gardens. A cer- 
tain number of coarse, weedy sorts 
have obtained entrance, and have 
spread far and wide ; and when, 
by the artistic eye, they are 
weighed in the balances and 
found wanting, the whole race is 
condemned for their defects. But 
there are in cultivation some 
truly noble kinds, and many that 
are beautiful and useful if not 
noble ; and their value is in some 
degree enhanced by the fact of 
their flowering late in the summer 
when the gaiety of the garden is 
overpast. From August to the 
close of the year is the season of 
the Michaelmas daisies; one of their number (Aiter ffrandi- 
jJi>nm} is called the " Christmas daisy/' because of its 
late flowering, and it is not at all uncommon for them 
to fight the frost night after night as the season wears 
on, and come out triumphant at last in unfolding to 



26 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

the declining year all their starry flowers. Dante alludes 
to the struggle of flowers with frost in the second canto 
of the first book of the " Divine Comedy," as represent- 
ing his own case when overcome by the inspiration of 
Beatrice : - 

" As florets, by the frosty air of night 

Bent down and clos'd, when day has hlanch'd their leaves, 

Rise all unfolded on their spiry stems ; 

So was my fainting vigour new restor'd, 

And to my heart such kindly courage ran, 

That I as one undaunted soon replied.'' 

Chaucer had made note of the fact as a theme for 
poetry, and it touched the vein of tenderness which was 
so peculiarly his : 

" But right as floures through the cold of night 

Iclosed, stoupen in her stalkes lowe, 
Hedressen hem agen the sunne bright, 

And spreden in her kinde course by rowe." 

Trail, and Cress. II. 

A large proportion of the plants classed as Michaelmas 
daisies are natives of North America, and therefore are 
hardy enough for any part of the British Isles. They 
may be more properly regarded as perennial asters, for 
such they are when their season of flowering, as remarked 
above, is of some four or five months' duration. They 
are among the most accommodating plants of their class 
known, being truly indifferent as to soil and situation, 
provided they have something to live on and are blessed 
with H glimpse of sunshine at some part of the day. 
But they are like many other accommodating plants in 
the fact that they make a far finer show of their flowers 
in a good soil, a pure air, and a sunny situation, than 
when overshaded by trees and with exhausted earth for 
their sole sustenance. The larger and bolder kinds are 



THE MICHAELMAS DAISY. 27 

fine shrubbery plants, aiid some of the smaller unattractive 
kinds are worth growing- to -cut from, for their clusters of 
little stars are often useful for decorative purposes, though 
as seen in the garden they may be inconspicuous and of 
small account. 

The safest rule of classification appears to be found in 
the relative heights of the plants. Beginning with the 
smallest, we have a charming thing in Aster alpinas, the 
blue daisy of the Alps, a plant which in gardens grows 
to a height of six inches, producing large blue flowers, 
but in the mountain pastures is too short to rise above 
the tine grass, amidst which its flowers appear like large 
blue daisies. 

" Star of the mead ! sweet daughter of the day, 
Whose opening flower invites the morning ray, 
From thy moist cheek, and bosom's chilly fold, 
To kiss the tear of eve, the dewdrops cold.' 1 

Other useful dwarf kinds are A. attaicus, with rosy 
purple flowers; A. patens, purplish-blue; A. sericeus, 
deep blue; A. versicolor, white changing to pale purple; 
A. diunosm, pale lilac-blue. 

Another series adapted for second and third rows are 
the following : A. amellus, flowers blue with yellow disc, 
one of the best; A. dracunculoides, purplish-blue, fine; 
A. fragilis, flowers white, changing to rose or purple; 
A. Itevis, purple with yellow centre, useful and good ; 
A. laxus, pale blue, fine; A. pendulus, white, changing to 
rose ; A. pyrentens, lilac-blue with yellow disc ; A. tur- 
binellus, delicate mauve, a handsome plant. In this 
section occur the most generally useful kinds. 

Amongst the taller sorts suitable for planting amongst 
shrubs and in the reserve garden the best are A. cordifolins, 



28 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

flowers early, white or pale violet; A. eletjams, purple and 
white, useful to cut from ; A. grandifloru*, violet, late, very 
handsome; A. lonyif alias, purple-blue, showy; A. mulli- 
fionus, small white flowers in elegant bouquets, most valu- 
able to cut from; A. nova-anglue, late flowering 1 , very tall, 
flowers violet and purple; A. obliquws, late flowering, white 
with purple disc, coarse, but in its way superb. 

A score or even fifty more may be found by those who 
need them, but the foregoing will suffice to stock a large 
garden with the most distinct and handsome kinds that 
need no special care when once they have been properly 

planted. 

" Last smile of the departing year, 

Thy sister sweets are flown ! 
Thy pensive wreath is far more dear 
From blooming thus alone. 

" Thy tender blush, thy simple frame, 

Unnoticed might have passed ; 
But now thou com'st with softer claim, 
The loveliest and the last. 

' ' Sweet are the charms in thee we find 

Emblem of hope's gay wing ; 
'Tis thine to call past bloom to mind, 
To promise future spring." 





SINGLE FUCHSIA. 




SINGLE FUCHSIA. 

Fuchsia ffraeifix. 

HE fuchsia is too modern a 
flower to have a great history, 
but what is known of it his- 
torically is full of interest. 
Strictly speaking, it is not so 
modern as is generally sup- 
posed, for it begins with the 
adventures of Father Pluinier, 
who was born at Marseilles 
in 1646. At the age of six- 
teen Charles Plumier was 
admitted to the religious order 
of Minims, and under the 
training of Father Maignan 
he soon became an expert 
mathematician and a practical 
turner. He wrote a remark- 
able book on the art of turn- 
ing, and might have continual turning and calculating, 
save that he had injured his health by too close application, 
and turned to the study of botany for occupation and rest. 
He soon became a master of this science, and the friend of 
the tyreat botanist Tournefort. Three several voyages he 



30 FAMILIAJt GARDEN FLOWERS. 

made to the West Indies and the American continent in 
search of plants, and in the capacity of King's Botanist 
he published ID 1695 his first botanical work, " Descrip- 
tion des Plantes de 1'Amerique." After his third voyage 
he published in 1703 his "Nova Plantarum Genera/' in 
which occurs the first description of the fuchsia, which he 
had discovered. In this work a feature of great importance 
is developed. Plumier dedicated about fifty of the plants 
he discovered to eminent botanists, by adopting their 
names as generic designations. Thus he dedicated the 
plant before us to the memory of Leonard Fuchs, and on 
him, therefore, we must bestow a paragraph. 

Leonardo Fuchs (or Fox) was born at Wembding, in 
Bavaria, in the year 1501. Early in life he devoted 
himself to learning and letters, became a convert to the 
opinions of Luther, and in 1521 graduated as a physician 
at Ingoldstadt. He was the first German physician whose 
name became famous in foreign countries ; and, strange to 
say, his fame rested chiefly on his vindication of the system 
of medicine that prevailed among the early Greeks. He 
was rather a herbalist than a botanist, and made great but 
often vain profession of his knowledge of the plants of 
Dioscorides. His works are now regarded as mere curio- 
sities, of considerable historical importance, but valueless 
in respect of the science they uphold and teach. The most 
important of them is the " Historia Plantarum/' pub- 
lished at Basle in 1542. 

But these relations do not bring the flower " home to 
us." That was done by a sailor, about a hundred years 
after the discovery of the plant by the learned monk 
Plumier. The adventurous tar had brought home from 
Chili a plant bearing flowers of a kind unknown till then 



SIN&LE FUCHSIA. 31 

in Europe, and he gave it to liis wife, and in the course of 
time she sold it to Mr. Lee, the eminent nurseryman of 
Hammersmith. It soon became famous, and as a garden 
flower the fashion was thus, as we may say, created. And 
it is worthy of observation that the kinds that were earliest 
introduced were of such high quality that later discoveries 
have not eclipsed them. Perhaps the greatest sensation 
experienced by the floral world in connection with the 
fuchsia occurred in the year 1847, when Messrs. Veitch 
obtained their first flowering plants of Fuchsia spectabilis 
from seeds sent home by Mr. William Lobb, who met with 
it in the Andes of Cuen9a, Peru, growing at an elevation 
of four to five thousand feet. But we dare not touch on 
the floral history of the plant, for we should need years 
for the study of it, and endless volumes for the text. 
Nor have we space left for a disquisition on the beauty 
of the fuchsia, and therefore have determined to follow a 
good example. A lean cure dined with a fat bishop, who 
first gave the cure a very poor vin ordinaire. But the 
cure praised the miserable wine, and astonished the bishop, 
who now determined to astonish the cure. So he brought 
forth his wines' of rare vintage, and watched for the effect, 
but the cure spoke not a word. " What/' said the bishop, 
" you praise my meagre vin ordinaire, and you say nothing 
of the wine now before you \" "Pardon, monsignor," 
replied the cure ; " the wretched wine you first gave me 
needed praising ; but this this speaks for itself." 

Ladies and gentlemen, as regards the elegance and 
freshness of the fuchsia it is not needful to speak it speaks 
for itself! 

In sheltered gardens in all the southern counties, and 
in some places even north of the Trent, the beautiful 



32 FAMILIAR GAEDEN FLOWERS. 

named fuchsias that are grown in the greenhouse may 
be planted out, and will pass through the winter safely 
if slightly protected, except in those seasons when the 
frost is unusually severe. Large old fuchsias may be 
turned to grand account in this way. The soil must be 
rich and mellow, and the plants must have abundant 
supplies of water ; and if valued for their strong 1 stems 
they should be lifted in November and be stored away in 
a greenhouse or a cellar, to be planted out again in May. 
If allowed to remain in the ground they should be uut 
down and a little cone of coal ashes piled over them. 
For permanent features the hardiest fuchsias are F. coccinea, 
F. gracilis, F. virgata, F. globosa, and F. Riccartoni. Of 
F. spectabilis we shall shortly give a description. 





CHRISTMAS ROSE. 



\ 




THE 



CHEISTMAS 

ROSE. 

Helleborus niger. 



MOXGST the " old-fashioned 
flowers" that one might look 
for in the little out-door para- 
dise of Lady Corisande, there 
would be none more worthy 
of care and honour than the 
Christmas rose. It is quite 
a proper thing for a Londoner 
fond of flowers to visit Co vent 
Garden Market at an early 
hour on a morning of De- 
cember to see the Christmas 
roses that are offered for sale. 
They appear in surprising 
quantities, and the visitor un- 
used to the Avays and doings 
of the market will ask, " Where 
do they come from?" But their size, their perfection, 
their perfect purity of colour are more surprising than 
their number, and he will perhaps ask a second question, 
" How is it done ? " And thereby hangs a tale. 

The Christmas rose is one of the easiest plants to grow, 
but when left entirely to itself it flowers late, and the 
flowers are much torn and discoloured by the unkind 



34 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

weather that usually prevails in its flowering season. The 
plant is a native of Southern Europe, and needs for its 
perfect development better conditions than are usually 
secured for it in English gardens, more especially as it 
flowers at a time of year when the elements are in a mood 
to make war upon every green herb, and tear away the one 
last leaf that still hangs upon the tree. To put this plant 
in a common border is not quite fair to it. A sheltered 
nook should be chosen, and a plot of ground prepared by 
draining it thoroughly, unless it is naturally well drained 
already, and by deep digging and liberal manuring. It 
does not need any particular kind of soil, for any fairly 
good garden loam will suit it perfectly, but the station 
should be well prepared, and the plants should be put out 
upon it when their leaves are dying down, and they are 
going naturally to rest. Sheltered, half-shaded, grassy 
banks answer admirably for plantations that are to be left 
to flower naturally, but the plantation in the sheltered 
nook we are now considering is not to be left to flower 
naturally. As soon as they begin to push in the late 
autumn they should all be covered with frames or hand- 
lights, which must be freely ventilated in mild weather, 
but during frost must be kept close, both to prevent a 
check and protect the flowers. By such management early 
flowers will be secured, and they will be large, thick, and 
pure. Like those of the white Japan anemone, they may 
be likened to water-lilies, but they need not be likened to 
anything it is enough to know that they are Christmas 
roses. An anonymous poet, weaving the " winter rose " 
into the garland of his hopes and cares, has indulged in the 
fancy that the flower is fragrant, but it requires quite a 
poet's imagination to extract an odour from the flower. 



THE CHRISTMAS ROSE. 35 

" Alas ! on thy forsaken stem 

My heart shall long recline, 
And mourn the transitory gem, 
- And make the story mine ! 
So on my joyless winter hour 
Has oped some fair and fragrant flower, 
With smile as soft as thine. 

" Like thee the vision came and went, 

Like thee it bloomed and fell, 
In momentary pity sent 

Of fairer climes to tell ; 
So frail its form, so short 'its stay, 
That nought the lingering heart could say, 

But hail, and fare thee well ! : ' 

In the growth of the new taste for hardy plants, which 
we may regard as a revival of old-fashioned gardening-, 
the hellebores have obtained a fair share of attention, and 
they now constitute a very important feature of the hardy 
garden. As the trumpet daffodils are called " Lent lilies/' 
so the spring flowering hellebores are called " Lent roses." 
One of the most interesting of the late flowering kinds 
is the sweet hellebore (Hellebores odor us), which produces 
pale green leaves, and greenish drooping flowers which are 
agreeably scented. The Olympian hellebore (H. Olympic**) 
is a handsome plant, producing purplish flowers. The 
Oriental hellebore (//. Orientalis] is strikingly handsome, 
the flowers being large, of a soft rose-colour, and accom- 
panied by an ample and elegant leafage. The purple 
hellebore (H. atrorubeus) produces beautiful flowers, which 
at first are violet-purple, and afterwards dull purple, with 
an admixture of green. There remain two fine species that 
are particularly well adapted to plant in woodland walks. 
They are H. abcha.ricua, with greenish flowers, and //. 
fteiidus, with greenish-purple flowers. These have hand- 



36 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

some winter foliage, and there should be a few clumps of 
each in spots where they are likely to be seen during 1 a 
walk round on a sunny winter day. 

A few beautiful garden varieties have lately been intro- 
duced from the Continent, and have found much favour 
with English amateurs. They are mostly of German 
origin, and are produced by crossing the purple and green 
flowered species, the result being in some cases flowers 
richly spotted, and of various shades of greenish-white, 
maroon, purple, and purplish-rose. The conspicuous yellow 
stamens, which contribute so much to the beauty of the 
white-flowered Christmas rose, are distinct and welcome 
features of these new varieties of Lent roses, adding an 
element of cheerfulness that compensates for their other- 
wise dull colouring, for the colours of the petals are in 
all cases toned down by infusions of green and purple that 
render them impure. A collection of hellebores may now 
be looked for in every garden of hardy plants, to combine 
with the daffodils to "take the winds of March with 
beauty." 





LAVENDER. 




LAVENDER. 

Lavandula vera. 

MERE word will often transport 
us into flowery fields and restore 
happy days that have long since 
fled. To many of the older sort 
the word lavender is as good as a 
charm, if it only recalls the old 
plaintive strain of once familial- 
street music. This tame-looking-, 
grey-green, stiff, sticky, and im- 
movable shrub holds as much poetry 
in its wiry arms as would fill a big 
book ; but that is no matter if it 
has helped to fill a heart with glad- 
ness, for the filling of a book is but 
a piece of mechanical trickery. A 
most famous plant is the lavender, 
as may be seen by reference to any 
of the older herbalists, more especially Parkinson, Gerarde, 
and Johnson. 

In a notice of the plant in a popular work occurs 
what is very common in " popular works " a showy but 
most egregious blunder in respect of one of the fi asso- 
ciations" of lavender. It is affirmed by the writer that 
the plant grows in Syria, and furnished the "ointment 



38 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

of spikenard" with which "Mary anointed our Lord in 
Bethany. Let us suppose the two statements to be cor- 
rect, and then what becomes of the protest against a 
supposed act of extravagance " it might have been sold 
for three hundred pence " ? The produce of a common 
weed of the country could never have acquired such a 
value, and the protest necessarily suggests that the oint- 
ment of spikenard was the produce of some far-distant 
land, and obtainable only with cost and difficulty. Such, 
indeed, is the case. The spikenard of the New Testament 
and of Canticles i. 12 and iv. 13 was imported into 
Palestine from the far East, the plant producing it being 
the Nardostachys Jatamansi of De Candolle, a plant spoken 
of by Dioscorides as the Nard of the Ganges the Sumbul 
or Sunbul hindac of the Arabs to this day. Lavender, in- 
deed, grows in Syria, for the genus Lavandnla is essentially 
Mediterranean, but it was not the spikenard of antiquity. 

The commonest uses of Lavandnla connect it with the 
lavatory, both words deriving their origin from Invo, to 
wash ; the plant being as much prized in ancient times as 
now for its refreshing perfume and cleansing properties. 
Herein is the secret of the commercial importance of 
lavender, of which immense quantities are grown near 
London for the purposes of the perfumer. 

The common lavender (Lavandnla vera] is the species 
grown in the Mitcham and other districts, as the oil yielded 
by its flowers, although not so large in bulk as that pro- 
duced by the flowers of Lavandnla spica, is of much 
finer quality, and is alone employed in the manufacture 
of the finest perfumes. The oil obtained from the last 
mentioned of the two species is rather green in colour, and 
is commonly known as spike oil, or foreign oil of lavender. 



LA VENDER. 39 

It is chiefly used for painting, but a considerable quantity 
linds its way every year to the second-class manufactories, 
where lavender-water and other perfumes, of which the base 
is the essential oil of lavender, are prepared, and this in its 
turn is sometimes adulterated with spirits of turpentine. 
The harvesting of the flowers takes place at the end of 
July or the beginning of August, according to the season, 
the proper moment for cutting the spikes being just as 
the flowers are opening, as they are then more powerfully 
aromatic, and consequently yield an oil of greater value 
than when fully expanded. The cutting is done with the 
sickle, and every care taken to immediately pack and tie 
up in mats, for when exposed to the rays of the sun for 
any length of time after cutting, the yield of oil is 
materially reduced in consequence. The flowers cannot, 
indeed, be sent to the distillery too quickly after their 
removal from the plants. Large quantities of lavender 
Howers are sent to Covent Garden annually, and from 
thence find their way to the shops and costers' barrows, 
for there is still a demand for them for filling muslin bags 
to stow away in drawers and cupboards, notwithstanding 
the facilities which exist for obtaining the essential oil, 
and lavender-water, and other perfumes into which it enters. 
The flowers, it should be remevnbered, are put into drawers 
and wardrobes to exclude moths, as well as for imparting 
an agreeable odour to the articles placed in these recep- 
tacles. A few drops of the oil will, however, serve the 
same purpose; and it has been ascertained by experiment 
that if a single drop is placed in a small box along with a 
living insect, the insect will be killed almost immediately. 
The distillation of the flowers is a business quite dis- 
tinct from that of their production, and both large and 



40 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

small growers take their crops to the distillery, and pay a 
certain rate per ton. The quantity of oil extracted from 
a ton of lavender varies according to the season, a rather 
dry and hot summer being the most favourable to an 
abundant production. From 15 Ibs. to 16 Ibs. is considered 
a fair average, and in some years it reaches 20 Ibs., but not 
often. The distilling commences about the 1st of August, 
and is continued until the end of September or the middle 
of October, according to the extent of the crop. 

In the propagation of a stock of lavender, and in the 
management of the plantations after their formation, a 
very simple course of procedure has been found to be the 
most satisfactory. Propagation is effected by means of 
cuttings taken in the autumn, October being considered 
the most suitable month in which to take them. After 
the shoots selected for cuttings are separated from the old 
plants, they are left in small heaps on the ground for six 
weeks, and are then planted. Rooted slips are, as far as 
possible, taken advantage of for the increase of stock, and 
when these can be had they are at once planted in the 
tield, at a distance of eighteen inches apart each way. 





CANTERBURY BFLU 




THE 
CANTEKBUBY BELL. 

Campanula medium. 

AXTERBURY BELLS are not 

so loud in their tone as might 
be imagined by people who are 
not bookish. How easy it would 
be to say that this common 
flower is figured and described 
in all the books, and to one 
who had so committed himself, 
how terrible would be the shock 
of a rejoinder to this effect 
that it is neither figured nor 
described in any of the books. 
Such a rejoinder would, of 
course, be a trifle too daring ; 
but it is a fact, and one of . 
immense interest to the writer 
of this, that this very familiar 
flower has been so rarely figured 
or described that it will require 

some searching to discover any literary recognition of it. 
But the fact is a key to what we may for convenience 
term one of the grievances of an important section of the 
flowery world. The Canterbury bell is a biennial, and 



42 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 



therefore has no right to a place in any of the books. 
The biennials should make a declaration against this state 
of things. For the sake of an hour's amusement we have 
ransacked our library, and found but few allusions to the 
plant. The botanists say it is not British, and therefore is 
not one of our wild flowers. En passant, we will remark 
upon this, that we once found a grand plant of the blue 
variety growing in Bonsai Dale, Derbyshire, and that is our 
only acquaintance with it as a wilding. The books that 
treat of annuals ignore biennials, and the books that treat 
of perennials do the same, and so the biennials are denied 
benefit of clergy, and there is left to them the final but 
sufficient consolation that they can do very well without it. 
That we may not a-ppear heathenish, it is proper to say that 
the clergy, philologically considered, are not necessarily 
employed in a sacred office they are learned men ; men 
who can read and write ; men possessed of skill, science, 
and clerkship. As Blackwood remarks, " the judges were 
usually created out of the sacred order ; and all the inferior 
offices were supplied by the lower clergy, which has occa- 
sioned their successors to be denominated clerks to this 
day." 

But here is a digression. "Well, we find figures of 
Canterbury bells in Gerard and Parkinson, but it is hard 
work to make them out, because they are badly drawn and 
confusedly described. But it is something to say for these 
old masters that if we want to trace the history of such 
a common plant we must ask them to help us, because 
modern authors aim so high that their shafts fly over many 
common but useful and beautiful things. 

It is time to say something about the cultivation of 
this noble campanula, and it will be consistent with the 



THE CANTERBURY BELL. 43 

foregoing 1 observations that, instead -of following in the 
wake of the blind man who made a fiddle out of his own 
head, we turn to the pages of a great old master for a code 
of instructions. In the " Abridgement " of Philip Miller's 
"Gardener's Dictionary/' quarto, 1761, will be found the 
following : 

" The third sort [Campanula medium] is a biennial 
plant, which perisheth soon after it hath ripened seeds. It 
grows naturally in the woods of Italy and Austria, but is 
cultivated in the English gardens for the beauty of its 
flowers. Of this sort there are the following varieties, the 
blue, the purple, the white, the striped, and double flower- 
ing. This hath oblong, rough, hairy leaves, which are 
serrated on their edges; from the centre of these, a stiff, 
hairy, furrowed stalk arises, about two feet high, sending 
out several lateral branches, which are garnished with long, 
narrow, hairy leaves, sawed on their edges; from the 
setting on of these leaves come out the footstalks of the 
flowers, those which are on the lower part of the stalk and 
the branches being four or five inches long, diminishing 
gradually in their length upward, and thereby form a sort 
of pyramid. The flowers of this kind are very large, so 
make a fine appearance. The seeds ripen in September, 
and the plants decay soon after. 

" It is propagated by seeds, which must be sown in 
spring on an open bed of common earth, and when the 
plants are fit to remove, they should be transplanted into 
the flower-nursery, in beds six inches asunder, and the 
following autumn they should be transplanted into the 
borders of the flower-garden. As these plants decay the 
second year, there should be annually young ones raised to 
succeed them/' 



44 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

A note on campanulas in general may be useful. The 
best of them are hardy border flowers, that need no parti- 
cular care, and thrive well in any ordinary good soil, but 
cannot endure to be starved or over-much shaded. In 
planting a border, preference in the first instance should 
be given to such sorts as C. latifolia, C. trac helium, 
C. gloinerata, C. nobilis, C. persicifolia. For the rockery, 
the most important, to begin with, are C. carpathica, C. 
garganica', C. pumila, and C. rotundifolia. The last-named 
is the " harebell " of the hedgerow and the roadside and 
the woodland waste, which we have met with near Hayfield, 
in Derbyshire, in many shades of blue, white, and pink, 
but the plants and seeds we saved of the curious varieties 
lost their distinguishing characters when removed, so that 
when planted out on raised banks of sandy soil in the 
garden they all produced blue flowers. 





RUDBECKIA. 




THE KUDBECKIA. 

Rudbeckia hirta. 

ARDY herbaceous plants have 
been rising in public favour dur- 
ing the past ten years or so, but 
they will never so entirely engross 
the admiration of the English 
amateur as certain over-zealous 
advocates believe and desire. The 
world is tolerably wise as to what 
it wants, and it is useless for 
specialists to go crazy because the 
world will not implicitly follow 
their lead. 

The truth is, the English gar- 
den is a rafter of the English 
household made up of good things 
from all parts of the world, and the 
pelargoniums of the Cape and the 

calceolarias of Peru are as worthy of a place in it as 
the lilies of the Levant or the fuchsias of the Falklands. 
People who enter upon gardening as a recreation are 
usually eclectic in their tastes, and are very quick in dis- 
tinguishing good things from bad ones, and those who 
seek applause by crying up herbaceous weeds and crying 
down bedding plants that make the garden grandly gay 



46 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

in the sunny months when gaiety is needed, will only 
obtain in the end the pitying smile that is bestowed 
on the well-meaning fanatic. The Rudbeckias illustrate 
this case. They are hardy herbaceous, handsome weedy 
things, that would be of priceless value were we possessed 
of only a few dozen sorts of garden flowers. But as we 
can command thousands we can afford to be dainty, and 
so it happens that two or three species of Rudbeckia are 
enough for any ordinary garden : the rest may be left over 
for those omnivorous ones who swallow everything that 
can be described as " herbaceous " and " hardy." 

The genus to which our plant belongs takes its 
name from O. Rudbeck, a Swedish botanist. It is wholly 
American. It is noted in the "Hortus Kewensis" of Aiton 
that R. laciriiata was grown by John Tradescant before 
1640, and R. trilola by Jacob Bobart before 1699. These 
appear to have been the earliest introduced. R. hirta, the 
subject of the coloured plate, was grown in this country 
in 1714, and is pretty widely distributed, although the 
members of this genus have never ranked high as border 
flowers. They are, however, useful, being at home in any 
soil or situation, though preferring, if they can get it, 
a dry sandy loam and a sunny situation. They are all 
perennial plants, and may be propagated by division and 
seed. Being rough and gay and conspicuous at a distance, 
they are admirably adapted for the front line of the shrub- 
bery, and if they do not delight the florists, they will 
gratify the artists, who always lean considerately towards 
single composite flowers, if there be some degree of dash 
in them, as there certainly is in the yellow and orange 
flowers of the Rudbeckias. 

Rudbeckia Calif ornica grows to the height of five feet, 



THE RUDBECKIA. 47 

and flowers in July ; the flowers are of a golden-yellow 
colour. R. Drummondi is of dwarf habit, rising only two 
feet, flowering from June to September, the flowers rich 
deep yellow with a band of purplish- brown and a curious 
brown centre ; this is a fine plant. R. fulgida rises two 
feet ; the flowers appear in July, they are orange-yellow, 
the disk purple ; a fine plant. R. hirta grows two to 
three feet in height, the flowers appear from July to 
September; they are of a rich orange-yellow, the disk 
purplish-brown. R. laciniata is of compact habit, height 
three feet, flowers pale yellow, the leaves elegantly cut; 
a fine plant. R. speciosa is of medium growth, rarely ex- 
ceeding two and a half feet in height ; the flowers appear 
late, they are orange-yellow with blackish-purple disk. 
About a dozen more may be found by those who want 
them at all events, their names may but it might be 
difficult to obtain the plants. 

The American continent is somewhat profusely sprinkled 
with composite plants that flower in the later summer and 
autumn, and prove perfectly hardy with us. We want 
the best of them for our gardens, and perhaps there are 
not many remaining to be introduced, for the botanists 
have not been idle on the " boundless prairies." It is the 
peculiar characteristic of a large majority of -these plants 
that they flower at a season when our native plants are for 
the most part in a seedy state; and thus they help us 
through the autumn, when out-door pleasures obtain more 
of our attention than at any other time. 

The botanist in whose honour the Rudbeckia was 
named by Linnaeus was the son of John Rudbeck, a 
learned Swedish bishop, who aided very materially in the 
publication of the Swedish Bible, commonly called the 



48 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

Bible of Gustavus Adolphus, in the year 1618, and was the 
author of the celebrated " Privilegia qusedam Doctorum," 
the production of which, in the year 1636, very nearly* 
proved his ruin. His son Olaf Rudbeck, born 1630, 
studied at Upsala, and in 1652 held a disputation there 
on the circulation of the blood, and afterwards made dis- 
coveries in anatomy which he rendered public in 1653. 
In this year he travelled into Holland, but soon after 
returned to Upsala, where he was, in the year 1658, ap- 
pointed professor of medicine. As an aid in this study 
he had previously established a botanical garden, into 
which he introduced many rare plants from distant places, 
and thereby afforded an astonishing example of the capa- 
bilities of a northern climate. 








MARIGOLD. 




MAEiaOLD. 

Tagetes erect a. 

LATER illustration of a very 
humble marigold has suggested 
homely thoughts, and the re- 
sult is a merely gossiping 
paper ; but the showy flower 
now before us demands a 
learned treatise, and we must 
show that we are equal to the 
inspiriting theme. We shall 
therefore dive into the depths 
of our erudition, and thence 
rebound to the highest heights 
of philosophy, in the endeavour 
to display to the reader the 
immensity of our knowledge of 
marigolds. 

A marigold may be re- 
garded as a golden Mary, but the name has no necessary 
reference whatever to the Virgin Mary, or to any Mary ; 
it is a corruption of the old Anglo-Saxon mersc-mear- 
qealla, the golden marsh flower (caltha), which is still 
called the " marsh marigold," although it is really a 
ranunculus. The marigold proper is a composite plant, 
and far removed from the ranunculus and all its cup 
G 



50 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

flowered relations. In the " Grete Herball " it is called 
" Mary Gowles/' Dr. Prior, in his " Popular Names of 
British Plants," remarks that " it is often mentioned by 
the older poets under the name of gold simply/' Not- 
withstanding- all this, the marigold became the flower of the 
Virgin Mary, if it was not so originally. The name being 
once corrupted, the association with a personage followed, 
and in the latest days of history, say the seventeenth 
century, it became the symbol of Queen Mary. The cele- 
brated Child's Bank, that was so long associated with old 
Temple Bar, had for its sign the marigold, and the motto 
AINSI MON AME, which necessarily applies to a sunflower. 
This appears to discomfit us ; but no, the marigold is 
a sunflower, quite as much a sunflower as the gigantic 
American plant that is now known by the name. In the 
poem by George Wither, quoted at page 63, we read 

that 

" Every morning she displayes 
Her open brest, when Titan spreads his rayes." 

In Perdita's garland for men of middle age we find 

" The marigold that goes to bed with the sun, 
And with him rises weeping." 

Winter's Tale, iv. 3. 

In the fifty-fourth sonnet of Drummond we have 

" Absence hath robb'd thee of thy wealth and pleasure, 
And I remain, like marigold of sun 
Depriv'd, that dies by shadow of some mountain." 

That the marigold was often regarded as especially 
emblematic of the Virgin Mary is certain. We see 
marigold windows in Lady chapels, and we may call them 
sunflowers if it suits us to do so, but the plant we now 
know as the sunflower was certainly unknown in Europe 



MARIGOLD. 61 

previous to A.D. 1500. The dedication of the flower to 
Queen Mary would naturally occur to the adherents of her 
cause, and hence it is not surprising to find in a ballad of 
her time, as quoted in " Notes and Queries" (S. 5, xii. 418), 
such lines as the following : 

' ' To Mary our queen., that flower so sweet, 

This marigold I do apply ; 
For that name doth seme so meet 

And property in each party. 
For her enduring patiently 

The storms of such as list to scold 
At her doings, without cause why, 

Loath to see spring this marigold." 

The flowers known as marigolds represent two distinct 
genera of composites. The common weedy marigold 
figured at page 61 is Calendula officinalis ; the generic 
name implying that it keeps pace with the calendar that 
is to say, it flowers every day throughout the year, which 
is very nearly true. The great African marigold is 
Tayetes erecta ; it is not African, but Mexican, as are also 
the more refined French marigold, Tagetcs patula, and the 
fine-leaved and the shining-cleaved kinds, T. tenuifolia and 
T. lucida. The genus Tagetes is named in honour of an 
obscure Etruscan hero of doubtful pedigree. It seems that 
Jupiter had a son named Genius, and this Genius had a 
son named Tages, who taught the Etruscans the art of 
divination. In the fifteenth book of Ovid's " Metamor- 
phoses" he is thus referred to in connection with the 
transformation of Egeria : 

" The nymphs and Virbius like amazement fill'd, 
As seized the swains who Tyrrhene furrows till'd, 
When heaving up, a clod was seen to roll, 
Untouch'd, self-mov'd, and big with human soul. 



52 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The spreading mass, in former shape deposed, 
Began to shoot, and arms and legs disclosed, 
Till, form'd a perfect man, the living mould 
Oped its new mouth, and future truths foretold ; 
And, Tages named by natives of the place, 
Taught arts prophetic to the Tuscan race." 

It is a grave defect of the Mexican marigolds that they 
emit an unpleasant odour, and therefore are scarcely fit for 
bouquets. The pretty little T. tenuifolia (also known as 
signata) is less objectionable than the others in this respect, 
and, generally speaking, is the most useful of all, because 
of its suitability for bedding, to take the place in dry soils 
of that capricious flower the yellow calceolaria. All these 
Mexican marigolds are half hardy, and therefore the seed 
should be sown in a frame or greenhouse in March and 
April, and the plants carefully nursed until strong enough 
to take their place for flowering in the beds and borders. 





THE BALSAM 

Impatiens bahamina. 

.N some of the books the plant is 
catalogued as 'Balsamina Tior- 
tensis, but as a rose by any 
other name would smell as 
sweet, the amateur gardener 
need not be troubled about the 
relative claims of the respec- 
tive designations. The garden 
balsam is a tender annual of 
rapid growth, with an ex- 
tremely succulent stem, ample 
full green leafage, and showy 
flowers of various shades of 
white, red, rose, and crimson. 
The generic name Impatiens is 
explained by the behaviour of 
the plant when the seeds are 
ripe, for, on the slightest touch, 
the seed-pods burst, and the 
seeds are scattered ; and this impatience of the plant may 
occasion to the cultivator considerable loss. But there is a 
way out of every difficulty, and the only real difficulty is to 
know the way. In this case it consists in removing the pods 
when they are nearly ripe, and placing them on a cloth 



54 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

or newspaper, or in a bell-glass placed mouth upwards, to 
ripen ; then, as they arrive at perfection, the seeds will be 
shed, and none will be lost, and if the plants were good, the 
seed will pay for the trouble of saving-. 

It is a very strange thing, and hardly to be believed, 
that there is not to be found in any systematic treatise on 
gardening a really good code of balsam culture. In plain 
truth, the books are all wrong upon the subject, and as the 
opportunity is now offered to put them right, we propose 
to do so. Let it be understood, then, to begin with, that 
the right way occasions less trouble than the wrong way, 
and the result is a free development of healthy leafage and 
splendid flowers. The essence of the proceeding consists in 
growing the plant generously and somewhat rapidly from 
the first, and guarding it against any possible check. Sup- 
pose we desire to have a fine bed of balsams. We secure 
the very best seed, and sow it in light rich soil, in pans or 
boxes, in the month of April. These pans or boxes should 
be placed on the sunny shelf of a greenhouse, or in a warm 
corner of a pit, and be kept moderately watered. The 
plants will soon appear, and as soon as they have about 
three rough leaves, they should be pricked out, three or 
four inches apart, in other boxes, in light rich soil ; or be 
potted separately in thumb-pots, and be again nursed in 
the warm pit or greenhouse, where they should have plenty 
of air, and never suffer in the least through lack of water. 
If they grow fast, and the weather is too cold to permit of 
planting them out, give them a shift into 60 size (three- 
inch) pots before they become pot-bound, for, as remarked 
above, there must be no. check whatever. When the 
weather is warm -and dull, say about the first or second 
week in June, plant them out in a sunny position, in rich 



THE BALSAM. 56 

deep soil. We have put them at two feet apart, and they 
have met long- before the season was over ; but, for a 
general rule, perhaps one foot distance may suffice. Give 
them plenty of water in dry weather, and that is all you 
need do to them. 

In the event of requiring nice specimens in pots, it 
will be advisable to sow in March, and start the seeds on a 
hot-bed; then proceed as advised in raising plants for a 
bed, but instead of planting them out, keep shifting into 
larger and larger pots, until it is time to stop, and allow 
the plants to flower. As a rule, an eight-inch pot is large 
enough for a very fine plant, and a dozen or two in pots of 
six- to eight-inch size may be turned to good account in 
the conservatory. When grown in this way, they must have 
good living and plenty of water, be protected from cold and 
drying winds, and excessive heat, but always have the fullest 
daylight and plenty of air. If they appear rather too long in 
the stem, put them down a little in potting, and the buried 
portion of the stem will soon throw out roots to the ad- 
vantage of the flowers that are coming. They require no' 
stakes and no shading, and if the foregoing brief directions 
are fairly well carried out, that is all you need do to them. 

The reader may be ready to exclaim, " I see nothing 
peculiar in this/' and the reader who so exclaims is quite 
in the right. But turn to the books, and you will find a 
complicated process prescribed, and so in balsam growing 
the lover of complications may be gratified. Here is an 
extract from a respectable book of reference, and there is 
really something in it : " When you cannot accommodate 
any but the best flowers in* the greenhouse, adopt the 
following method. After pricking out into three- or four- 
inch pots, and plunging them in the bed, allow the pots to 



56 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

get full of roots, keep them drier and cooler, and give 
plenty of air, which will soon cause flowers to appear ; then 
select plants with best flowers, rub every flower-bud off 
them, fresh pot, disentangling the roots a little as you 
proceed, and grow them on as advised above; and what 
you lose in time you will make up in selectness." These 
directions provide for a check by allowing the plants to 
become pot-bound, and for another check by the process 
of rubbing the flower-buds off, so as to compel the plants 
to produce another crop. And what is the result ? Tall, 
attenuated plants, with poor flowers on the side stems, and 
no fine flowers anywhere. We see numerous wretched bal- 
sams at flower shows that have been grown in this way. 
Now, let us ask Nature about it, and her reply will be that 
the finest flowers are the first produced, and appear in the 
centre of the plant ; therefore the removal of the buds is 
a mistake, and the imposition of any check is a mistake, 
and there is no balsam so beautiful as the one that has 
been generously grown and allowed to flower at its own 
time and in its own way. 





YORK AND LANCASTER ROSE 




YOEK AND LANCASTER 
EOSE. 

Rosa Damascena . 

HY, it may be asked, is this old 
favourite of the English garden 
presented as a rose of Damas- 
cus? The reason is that the 
: true York and Lancaster rose is 
a variety of Rosa Damascena; 
and if in this little work we 
recognise Latin names at all, 
we must he as nearly correct 
as possible. There are several 
distinct roses known as repra 
senting the two great families 
and the healing of their feuds, 
one of the best known being a 
variety of Rosa Gallica. But 
the " proper " symbolic flower is a striped damask rose, 
with green branches and pubescent leaves, and the habit 
of the old monthly roses. 

As Shakespeare tells the tale it makes a profound im- 
pression. We see the foundations of the feud laid in 
the success of Bolingbroke and the cruel murder of the 
king as the curtain falls on the fine historical tragedy 
of " Richard II." We see it ripen in the first part of 
" King Henry VI." in the famous scene in the Temple 



58 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

Gardens, where the white and red roses are defiantly 
plucked as party badges : 

" Plantagenet. Since you are tongue-tied, and so loath to speak, 
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts : 
Let him that is a true-born gentleman, 
And stands upon the honour of his birth, 
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth, 
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me. 

" Somerset. Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer, 
But dare maintain the party of the truth, 
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me. 

" Warwick. I love no colours ; and, without all colour 
Of base insinuating flattery, 
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet. 

" Suffolk. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset ; 
And say withal, I think he held the right." 

Most fittingly the scene closes with the prophecy of 

Warwick 

" This brawl to-day, 

Grown to this faction, in the Temple garden, 
Shall send, between the red rose and the white, 
A thousand souls to death and deadly night." 

One of the most penetrating and pathetic passages in 
the historical plays of our great poet occurs in the third 
part of "Henry VI." (act ii v so. 4), where the king on the 
wasted field beholds first a son that has killed his father, 
and next a father that has killed his son, and exclaims 
in painful soliloquy over the dead boy 

" Woe above woe ! grief more than common grief ! 
O, that my death would stay these ruthf ul deeds ! 
0, pity, pity, gentle Heaven, pity ! 
The red rose and the white are on his face, 
The fatal colours of our striving houses : 
The one, his purple blood right well resembles ; 
The other, his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth : 
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish ; 
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither." 



YORK AND LANCASTER ROS. 59 

It is with a sense of immense relief that we see in the 
death of Richard III. the end of the sanguinary struggle, 
and most happily does that tremendous work close with 
the healing words of Henry VII., when upon Bosworth 
Field he declares 

" The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead ! " 

and crowns the victory with an act of clemency and an 
expression of pious hope 

'' Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled, 
That in submission will return to us ; 
And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament, 
We will unite the white rose and the red. 
Smile, Heaven, upon this fair conjunction, 
That long hath frown'd upon their enmity ! 
What traitor hears me, and says not Amen ? " 

Returning to our flower, it will be observed that we 
have wandered far away from it, for the Wars of the Roses 
were represented by a white rose for Lancaster and a red 
rose for York. And what may they have been ? In 
Shakespeare's time there were probably many kinds of 
roses in the Temple Gardens, but it was not so in the 
days of the Plantagenets. Then, in all probability, the 
only roses known in gardens were the wild roses of the 
woods. Supposing the scene which Shakespeare has so 
filled with the reality of life to be, not a creation of his 
own, but a scrap of genuine history, then we can find 
no other roses for the partisans than those described by 
Chaucer as 

" The bramble flour that bereth the red hepe ; " 

that is, the dog rose, the " canker of the hedge," which 
gives in one thicket flowers of the most delicate rosy-pink 
hue, and in another flowers of the purest white. They 



60 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

had also the sweet-brier rose, with its elegant carmine- 
coloured flowers, and the downy rose, with its neat white 
flowers ; the emblems of the pending strife were not want- 
ing, but no one can now say what they were. 

As remarked above, there are two roses that represent 
the desire of Richmond to " unite the white rose and 
the red." The true York and Lancaster we believe to be 
a striped damask rose; but there is another that often 
bears the name, the proper name of which is Rosa 
mundi, and its alliance is with the French rose (Rosa 
Gallica}. These are not the only striped roses known to 
cultivators, for in truth there are many ; but not one of 
the throng has ever been much prized by critical enthu- 
siasts that is to say, by rosarians, for that is the fashion- 
able designation of the modern rosomaniacs to which 
excitable and exacting fraternity the writer humbly con- 
fesses his attachment. 





i 



COMMON MARIGOLD. 




THE COMMON MAEIGOLD. 

Calendula officinalis. 

ROM the common marigold here 
faithfully figured, and suggestive 
of soup, to the delicate French 
marigold, Tagetes palida, that the 
florists grow for exhibition, and 
bring to a perfection of geometric 
marking that makes a place in 
floriculture for mathematics, what 
a stride ! Fifty years and more ago 
a flower show of a very individual 
nature engrossed my attention 
and made a deep impression on my 
mind. It consisted entirely of 
marigolds, and the scene was the 
churchyard of St. Botolph, Aid- 
gate, where these flowers had run wild, 
and, as wild things are wont to do, 
had taken care to keep the race going, 
so that there should be no lack of 
wild marigolds from year to year, for in truth the 
ground was literally covered with them as with a pave- 
ment of stars stamped out of the rinds of oranges. At 
that early date I had heard, but had never tasted, of 
soup flavoured or adorned I knew not which with 



62 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

marigolds, and I stole and munched a flower, and was 
lost in the admiration of contempt for the people who 
could put such trash into soup, whether for flavouring, 
beautifying, or any other purpose. My father, being 
a florist to the backbone, would not tolerate a common 
marigold, and so I had to play the thief to gain the 
knowledge of the comparative worthlessness of marigolds 
in clear ox-tail. Within a few weeks of writing this I 
have had to judge at a flower show where the study of 
French marigolds occupied me nearly an hour to award 
the prizes to my satisfaction. What a stride ! But Provi- 
dence gave me years to accomplish it, with enjoyment at 
the beginning and the end and at all the intermediate 
stages. To stride over marigolds, beginning with soup 
and ending with the fine arts, is not a particularly noble 
business, but one might do worse; one might be M.P. 
for Battle Bridge, for example, or confessor to the pirates 
of the Flowery Land. When the churchyard marigolds 
enraptured me I had not read Shakespeare, but I call to 
mind now his association of them with the grave in the 
fourth act of " Pericles " 

Enter MARINA, with a basket of flowers. 
" No, I will rob Tellus of her weed, 
To strew thy green with flowers : the yellows, blues, 
The purple violets, and marigolds, 
Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave, 
While summer-days do last. Ay me ! poor maid, 
Born in a tempest, when my mother died, 
This world to me is like a lasting storm, 
Whirring me from my friends." 

The marigold is a very important flower to the senti- 
mental. " As the marigold to the sun's eye," so is any- 
thing you like to speak of for its constancy. The marigold 



THE COMMON MARIGOLD. 

is a "sunflower," and, in common with the helianthus, 
is said never to turn its face from that part of the heavens 
where the sun is, whether seen or invisible. In the 
"Winter's Tale/' Shakespeare speaks of "the marigold 
that goes to bed with the sun and with him rises weep- 
ing/' a state of things that necessitates the facing of the 
flower to the northern regions of the heavens all through 
the night. One of the most beautiful of the poetical 
fancies, founded on the idea of a flower following the sun, 
is the little poem by George Wither : 

" When, with a serious musing, I behold 
The gratef ull and obsequious marigold, 
How duely, ev'ry morning, she display es 
Her open brest, when Titan spreads his rayes ; 
How she observes him in his daily walke, 
Still bending towards him her tender stalke ; 
How when he downe declines, she droopes and moumes. 
Bedew'd (as 't were) with teares, till he returnes ; 
And how she vailes her flow'rs, when he is gone, 
As if she scorned to be looked on 
By an inferiour eye ; or, did contemne 
To wayt upon a meaner light, then him. 
When this I meditate, me-thinkes, the flowers 
Have spirits, farre more generous, then ours; 
And give us fair examples, to despise 
The servile fawnings, and idolatries, 
Wherewith we court these earthly things below, 
Which merit not the service we bestow." 

Florists' marigolds are very delicate things. The Afri- 
cans we will not speak of, because anybody can grow them, 
and they are horribly coarse ; but the French are delicate 
things, and worthy of all reasonable care to ensure fine 
quality. And yet with these the chief matter is to get 
good seed, for the qualities the severe judges of flowers 



64 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

require are more the result of hybridism and selection than 
what we understand by the term "cultivation/' But 
having 1 secured the seed, sow it in a gentle hot-bed in 
April, or in pots some time in May, in which case a hot- 
bed will not be wanted, as the seed will soon germinate 
in a common frame. Prick out the young -plants into 
boxes, filled with light rich earth, as soon as they are 
large enough to handle ; and very soon after, the plants 
being stout and healthy, put them out in a bed open to 
the full sun, and carefully water and shade until they 
begin to grow freely, and then give no more shade and 
no more water unless the summer happens to be very 
hot and dry, in which case you must water regularly 
and copiously say, to soak the bed well twice or thrice a 
week. 





JESSAMINE 




THE JESSAMINE. 

Jasminum officinale. 

ASMIN THE TROUBADOUR, 

who happily hails from Agen, 
" content and poor/' makes 
boast of his name as allied to 
the " stem of Jesse." For this 
plant is variously called Jas- 
mine, Jessamine, and Jesse : 
its Arabic name being Ysmyn, 
and its Persian name Jdsemin. 
And it is a question of some 
interest whether, in the pro- 
phetic utterances, " the stem/' 
" the root/' " the rod/' and 
" the branch " of Jesse were 
associated with any plant that 
had the value of a symbol. 
It is not an idle question, as may be 
seen on reference to the tree of Jesse 
in the east window at Dorchester, Oxon ; 
for however the artist may draw on his 
imagination in such a work, he is likely to be governed 
by an idea derived from a consideration of facts, and 
the jessamine, if admissible in such a case, is peculiarly 
I 



66 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

adapted for truthful delineation in conventional tracery. 
The tree of Jesse is indeed often met with in the reredos 
and east windows of English churches, and usually we 
have no hint of any special symbol or any properly objec- 
tive thought in the work, although, doubtless, there is fair 
excuse for it. 

The white jessamine has been in cultivation in this 
country so long that we have no record of its introduction, 
and know not whence it was obtained. In the books it is 
reported to have been introduced from the East Indies in 
the year 1548, but Gerarde, in 1597, speaks of it as com- 
monly used for covering arbours; and as to its native 
country, we can scarcely localise it, except in a general 
way, as an Eastern plant. It is perfectly hardy in this 
country, rarely suffering even in the severest winters, and 
it is particularly well adapted for planting in town gardens, 
as defect of light and the deposition of dust on its leaves 
do not prevent its healthy growth and free flowering. As 
a wall tree, however, it lacks character, and often looks 
dingy and dejected ; but if fairly well taken care of, the 
natural elegance of the plant is pleasingly displayed, and 
the delicious fragrance of its delicate white flowers abund- 
antly justifies its place in the garden. 

To obtain the evanescent odour of the flowers of this 
plant, a complicated process is required. To merely press 
them or to distil them with water would be useless, the 
essential essence being too subtle for retention by any 
such simple methods of procedure. The flowers are first 
embedded in fat, to which they communicate their odorous 
treasure, which is then separated from the fat, and obtained 
in a more elegant form by means of alcohol. The last part 
of the process is comparatively modern, but the first pro- 



THE JESSAMINE. 67 

cess is as old as the use of perfumes,, and explains the 
frequent employment of ointments by the ancients; for 
many of the odorous essences they coveted were obtainable 
only by the aid of greasy substances, which served as 
vehicles for separating- and preserving them. 

The most important species of Jasminum in respect of 
the production of commercial perfumes are /. officinale, 
which is here figured ; /. sambac, a native of the East Indies, 
producing white flowers, which are followed by black berries. 
the perfume known as oil of jasmine is obtained from this 
species ; and /. grandiflorum, also a native of the East 
Indies, and closely resembling /. officmale, but the flowers 
are larger, and reddish "underneath ; from this is obtained a 
very considerable proportion of the essential oil of jasmine 
of the shops. A favourite garden jasmine in the East is 
J. angiistifolium, a bright twining plant, with star-shaped 
flowers tinged with red, and very agreeably fragrant. It 
is somewhat singular that when these plants are grown in 
our conservatories they do not appear to attract many 
insects, nor does the fragrant jessamine of the garden often 
enjoy the honour of a visit from a busy bee or an idle 
butterfly ; but Moore, with his exquisite taste in matters 
of detail, makes the jasmine of Asia Minor the resort of 
many gay insects, attracted by the rare fragrance of its 
flowers. In his delightful story of " Paradise and the 
Peri/' he makes the " child of air/' when searching for 
" the gift that is most dear to heaven/' betake her amongst 
the bovvers of the "chambers of the sun" 



" When, o'er the Vale of Balbec winging 

Slowly, she sees a child at play, 
Among the rosy wild flow'rs singing, 
As rosy and as wild as they ; 



68 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

Chasing, with eager hands and eyes, 
The beautiful blue damsel-flies, 
That flutter'd round the jasmine stems 
Like winged flow'rs or flying gems." 

Cowper, who better understood the garden than any English 
poet, Shakespeare alone excepted, gives us a photograph of 
the plant in four short lines 

"The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, 
The deep dark green of whose un varnish' d leaf 
Makes more conspicuous and illumines more 
The bright profusion of her scatter'd stars." 





BLUE SAGE. 




THE BLUE SAGE. 

Salvia patens. 

HE light of other days is faded, 
and the blue salvia is no longer 
in high renown as a wonder 
amongst bedding plants. It 
has filled as many pages of 
print as the crimson flax, but 
now the horticultural writers 
have nothing to say about it, 
and appear, indeed, to have for- 
gotten its gay existence. It 
might have been famous to this 
day if it could but have 
stooped to conquer, but it was 
always too tall for its place, 
and carried its colours care- 
lessly, as if seeking the bubble 
reputation were a pastime for 
such meaner ones as without 
seeking would never outwin reputation at all. But we 
must be wise about it, and endeavour to earn our wages. 

The blue salvia is a tall-growing, loosely -branched, un- 
tidy plant that may be grown equally well in the green- 
house or the stove. For summer bloom the greenhouse 
suffices, and during the warmer portions of the summer 



70 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS, 

the plant will, if properly managed, flower freely in the 
open air. If winter flowers are required, the plant must 
be in the stove, where, if fairly dealt with, it will rise to a 
height of ten or twelve feet, and make a very delightful 
display of its intensely blue flowers, in which the blue of 
the delphinium the rarest colour in nature, save in the 
vast firmament above is developed in power and purity. 

Salvia patens may be raised from seed with ease and 
certainty. If it is sown in sandy soil in shallow pans and 
boxes early in February, and placed in the stove or on a 
common hotbed, the plants may be grown to a sufficient 
size to make a good display in the flower garden the same 
season. It will be necessary to pot them into small pots, 
and keep them in a warm pit or greenhouse until the 
middle of May, when they should be transferred to a cold 
frame, and have more and more air by degrees, but with 
very great care in the first instance, the object of this 
treatment being to render them hardy enough to bear full 
exposure before they are finally planted out The bed 
should be in a sunny situation, well drained, and the soil 
somewhat sandy. To plant them out before the first week 
of June would be unwise, but as soon after that time 
as possible they should be consigned to their blooming 
quarters, and should be at a distance apart of not less 
than nine to twelve inches. 

The plants can be kept from year to year by lifting 
the roots after the tops have been cut down by frost, and 
storing them in sand during the winter. Early in the 
spring these roots should be planted in boxes or pans filled 
with light soil, and be placed in a moderate heat to start 
them into growth. They will soon produce young shoots, 
which, when two or three inches in length, may be taken 



THE BLUE SAGE, 71 

off as cuttings, and will soon strike in a temperature of 70. 
This practice may be varied by lifting- and potting the 
plants before the frost has defaced them, in which case 
they must be wintered in a warm greenhouse or the cool 
end of the stove, and have but moderate supplies of water 
until they begin to grow freely in the spring. At the 
time of potting, superfluous shoots may be removed and 
struck, but the autumn is an inconvenient season for pro- 
pagating this sal via. 

The crimson salvia (S. splendens) and the small 
8. coccinea, are about equally well adapted for bedding 
as S. patens, but they are all so diffuse in habit that to 
employ them to advantage requires more than ordinary 
taste and judgment. S. coccinea answers admirably to 
grow from seed as an annual, as when so managed it does 
not grow much more than a foot high, and it blooms 
freely from July to October. 

For the greenhouse and conservatory the following 
species of salvia may be especially recommended : The 
narrow-leaved (S. angustifolia) , flowers blue, appearing in 
May -, the light blue (S. azurea], flowering from August to 
October; the scarlet (S. fulgens], a fine plant, producing 
a grand show of scarlet flowers in August ; the white 
patens (S. patens alba) , a variety of the plant represented 
in the plate. It is useful as a greenhouse plant, but is 
scarcely effective as a bedder. 

A remarkably fine group of salvias were some time 
ago brought into notice by Mr. H. Cannell, of Swanley. 
We happily received grand spikes of bloom of three of 
these, and therefore can speak- of them as flowering well 
in the autumn. Salvia Pitcheri produces a profusion of 
flowers of the most pure and brilliant blue, and will flower 



72 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

all the winter in the conservatory. S. Betkeli has bril- 
liant scarlet flowers ; S. splendens Bruanti also has scarlet 
flowers; S. Hovei/i has flowers of an exquisite tone of violet 
or satiny purple. These four may be considered the most 
useful of all the salvias in cultivation. 

A few other kinds deserve mention. S. tricolor is a sweet 
little gem, with white tube and mouth, and the upper lip 
purple, the lower lip scarlet a bit of Nature's fancy work 
in painting- that appears intended to mock the human 
painters of flowers. Thirty years ago we used to see in 
the gardens two curious salvias, named respectively S. 
bracteata and S. horminum, which are remarkable because 
their conspicuous features are their coloured bracts, the 
flowers of both being blue. 





INDIAN PINK. 




THE INDIAN PINK. 

Dianthns Chinensis. 

ARIABILITY is a common cha- 
racteristic of garden flowers, and 
is the quality on which depends 
very much of the interest they 
excite in the mind of the florist. 
A flower that continues constant 
to its typical character, or but 
rarely manifests a capability of 
varying-, will never attain to high 
popularity, no matter how splen- 
did may be its appearance when 
in full dress. The Indian pink 
possesses the charming property 
of changeableness in an especial 
degree, and the consequence is 
that our gardens abound with distinct and rich varie- 
ties that in some instances are so far removed from the 
type that the relationship can only be determined by 
the trained eye of the critical botanist. The splendid 
forms known as Dianthus Heddewegi, D. giganteus, and 
D. laciniatus are all sub-sections, or " strains/' of D. 
Chinensis, and it is not unlikely that if they were at this 
moment destroyed, they could be reproduced from the 
species within the lifetime of an earnest florist who should 



74 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

have the good fortune to begin early and be spared to 
labour late in developing the variability of this gay and 
useful plant. In its simple, and for present purposes we 
may say original state, as the common Indian pink, it is 
surely the cheapest and most beautiful of all our hardy 
annuals ; but in its improved condition it ranks as a 
florist's flower, and we name the finest examples and regard 
them as perennials because they are propagated from cut- 
tings. In the books the Indian pink is a biennial, being 
so classed because it is usually sown in summer to flower 
the next summer, and having flowered, dies. But it has 
been our rule to sow the seed early in a frame, and put 
the plants out in a bed of light rich soil in the month of 
May, and have them gloriously in flower from July to the 
end of the season : thus it becomes an annual. But it 
does not of necessity die after the first season's flowering, 
for on a dry soil it will live many years, if the dead flowers 
are removed, so as to prevent the swelling of seed-pods : 
thus it becomes a perennial. A majority of so-called 
"biennials" may be treated as annuals or perennials at the 
discretion of the cultivator. Of all the common plants, the 
life-term of which may be thus contracted or prolonged at 
pleasure, the most interesting, perhaps, is the mignonette. 
As usually treated it is an annual ; but we have had 
immense mignonette trees that have lived fifteen years, 
and become quite woody and venerable, the one secret of 
keeping them so long being the systematic prevention of 
seeding. Allow them to swell a fair crop of seeds, and 
away they go. Do not allow a single seed-pod to swell, 
and in all probability a ' mignonette plant would live as 
long as its owner, and then become an " heirloom/' or more 
likely a " white elephant/' to another possessor. 



THE INDIAN PINK. 75 

'The Indian pink was introduced about 1713 by a 
French, missionary named Bignon, and soon became a 
popular garden flower. The plant has a singularly frail 
appearance, and yet it is by no means tender in constitu- 
tion. The narrow glaucous leaves, too, seem out of pro- 
portion to its large and richly-coloured flowers, a quality 
which may be termed " alpine/' for the plants of the 
mountains commonly produce flowers of immense size in 
proportion to the herbage that sustains them. Any ordi- 
nary good soil will suit this plant, but excessive damp in 
winter is to be carefully avoided by the cultivator, and 
therefore, when grown on a heavy soil, the stock should 
either be wintered in pots and boxes in a frame, or in a 
bed in a pit, or, if in the open, a raised bed should be pre- 
pared for them consisting of good loam with a considerable 
proportion of sand. From this they may be transplanted 
in April to the beds or borders in which they are to flower. 
But this is beginning at the wrong end, because it pre- 
supposes the possession of plants. The very best way to 
obtain a stock is to sow seed in an open border or cold 
frame in May or June. If the plants are required to flower 
as early as possible the same season, sow in February 
or March in pots or pans, and place on a hotbed or in 
a warm house, and as soon as the seedlings have made 
a little progress, prick them out into boxes and nurse 
them with care, and plant out early in May. 

It is singular that the word " pink " is so various in its 
meaning, that it may be cited as one of the wonders of 
philology. We talk of the "pink of perfection;" and a 
flower does not cease to be a pink though its colour may 
be white, purple, or even yellow. Whitsunday is a ' ' pink 
day/' but the term Pentecost does not mean either a 



76 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

White Sunday or a Pink Sunday, but simply the " fiftieth/' 
From "Pentecost/' however, we have not only the name of a 
festival of the Church, but the name of a flower and of a 
colour, and of a process that has melancholy suggestions 
that of " pinking/' By a roundabout but not uncertain 
process, a pink becomes an eye, and also anything that 
glitters. The French term for the flower is ceillet, an eye, 
or eyelet, and it is in accordance with the most common 
mutations of words to find thatj0t is a merely sharpened 
form of the older word link, and this again a departure 
from wink, and, following this up, we attain to the Anglo- 
Saxon wincian, or, as we have it in common parlance, 
winking, a movement of the lids of the eyes. A pilot's 
boat is sometimes called a " pink," and the scar resulting 
from a wound is also called by the same name. Thus, in 
Cowper's expostulation, " pink'd " means marked with 

stabs 

" He found thee savage, and he left thee tame ; 
Taught thee to clothe thy pink'd and painted hide, 
And grace thy figure with a soldier's pride." 





GLADIOLUS. 




THE GLADIOLUS. 

Gladiolus gandavensis. 

T is a mere compliance with 
custom to label this flower 
Gladiolus gandavensis, for that 
is the name of an early hybrid 
between G. cardinalis and G. psit- 
tacinus, raised many years ago 
in a Belgian garden. Eut it is 
scarcely worth while to discuss 
technicalities or draw fine lines, 
and we prefer to talk about the 
gladiolus as a beauty to be wooed 
in the pleasant days of the after- 
summer. 

The florist's varieties consti- 
tute a large and separate class, 
and are usually designated "hy- 
bi'ids of gandavensis/' although 
they owe their ^origin to several 
species and to many and repeated 
crossings. To grow these well 
requires some care; but they are 
worthy of all attention, so various and splendid are 
their flowers. In the first place, then, it must be said 
that they are not hardy, and therefore it will not do to 
leave them in the ground all the winter. We have 



78 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

tried this many times, and although many roots sur- 
vived the ordeal, they were rendered worthless by it. 
Nor is it well to plant them in February or March, 
as advised in some of the books; for if the spring is 
wet and cold they rot in the ground, and if it is dry 
and warm they grow too soon, and their tender green 
tops are liable to be cut off by frost in April and May. 
Keep the corms or roots in sand, in a dry, cool place, until 
about the middle of March, and then pot them singly in 
thumb-pots, or in three-inch pots at the utmost. First 
cover the hole in the pot with a convex potsherd, hollow 
side downwards, or with two or three small pieces of coke 
or cinder. Then put in compost to the depth of about two 
inches ; on this place the corm, and fill in, and press a little 
firm all round, and finally cover to within a quarter of an 
inch of the rim of the pot. The compost may, with 
advantage, consist of equal parts of mellow loam, leaf- 
mould, very old rotten hotbed soil, and silver-sand. But 
this precise formula need not be followed, because any light 
compost will answer the purpose, if sweet and nourishing. 
Pack the pots in a frame, or under the stage of a green- 
house, give them one watering, and leave them untouched 
for a fortnight at least. By that time, probably, the 
growth will be spearing through. In such case they must 
have light and aiir, and a very suitable place for them will 
be the stage of a cool greenhouse, or to continue in the 
frame, and to have regular attention in respect of watering 
and air-giving. Be careful to avoid extremes. Keen east 
winds, sharp frost, very much moisture, continued cold 
and damp, are all more or less to be feared as dangerous. 
It is but little they will require; the matter of main im- 
portance is to keep a watch on them. 



THE GLADIOLUS. 79 

You must now prepare for planting out. The bed 
should be in an open, sunny, though sheltered situation, 
and the soil should be deep and mellow, and rich in humus. 
A heavy, pasty, or lumpy soil will not do. Gladioli will 
grow finely in peat, and still more finely in a hazelly 
loam, continuing abundance of rotted turf, and a moderate 
amount of old hotbed soil. Many natural soils which 
may be described as sandy loam will grow them well 
without any aid whatever ; but we have noticed that the 
most successful growers prepare the ground with care, 
and put in a pretty liberal dressing of well-rotted farm- 
yard manure. 

The best time to plant out is just when the pots are 
full of roots, and will turn out without breaking. Then 
make your plantation, and if the weather be dry give 
water every evening for a week, after which discontinue 
watering for a week or so, unless the weather sets in 
unusually dry and hot, in which case the water-pot must 
be kept going. In a run of ten years, during which we 
flowered all the varieties, we managed to do well without 
often resorting to the water-pot. We had our plants 
nicely rooted in small pots, and put them out in showery 
weather, and did little more for them than to keep the 
ground clear of weeds and afford aid as required in staking 
and tying; and the bloom was always of good average 
quality, and sometimes more than that. 

In respect of taking up the corms, it is very important 
to remark that you may incur serious loss by waiting 
until the leaves die down, for in a mild, moist autumn they 
will keep green until near Christmas ; meanwhile, perhaps, 
the roots, being moist when they ought to be dry, become 
diseased, and this is manifested in the next season in 



80 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

various unpleasant ways. Therefore, when there comes 
over the plantation a certain amount of yellowness, and 
the leaves look as if they would die if they could, and 
are only prevented by reason of the " growing weather," 
hesitate no longer, but lift them, and lay them in lots of 
a sort in a dry shed, with as much earth about them as 
adheres naturally, and in the course of a week afterwards 
clean them by removing leaves and roots, and store in sand. 
It is a delightful task to raise gladioli from seeds. To 
obtain the seeds is an easy matter, but artificial fertilisation 
should be practised to render the work complete. Sow the 
seed in spring in shallow pans, which should be placed in a 
moderate heat. When the grass appears, give air cautiously ; 
and when the season is sufficiently advanced, place them 
out of doors, and let them finish the first season's growth 
in the seed-pans. Put these away untouched in a dry 
place for the winter. In the month of March following 
sift the soil and separate the corms, and plant these in pans, 
and treat them as described above for the flowering corms. 
A.t the end of May plant them out. 





VIRGINIAN STOCK. 




THE VIRGINIA STOCK. 

Malcomia maritima. 

O humble a flower is this that we 
should despair of making a suffi- 
cient vindication to justify the 
picture, but, happily, it is a repre- 
sentative of a very important class 
of garden flowers the hardy 
annuals with which most ama- 
teurs make an agreeable beginning 
in garden experiences. It is a 
cruciferous or cross-flowered plant, 
and in that respect might claim a 
lot of attention ; for the wallflower, 
the stock, the aubrietia, the rocket, 
and the cabbage are cruciferous, 
and have some striking properties 
in common. 

Hardy annuals are the cheapest 
flowers in the world; many of them are gay, 
and last long, and are delightfully fragrant, 
and all of them are interesting and pleasing more or 
less. It is usual to sow the seeds of these flowers in the 
month of March in patches along the borders, and the 
ciistomary practice answers very well. The weak point in 
the practice, for the most part,, consists in sowing too many 



82 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

seeds and leaving too many plants in a clump, for, being 
crowded, they never acquire a proper degree of strength ; 
and hence, if they flower freely, the flowers are small and 
are soon over. When walking round the kitchen garden, 
you will sometimes see a stray plant of parsley in the 
cabbage or onion plot, and it is sure to be robust and 
handsome, so that a punnet may be filled with its beau- 
tiful leaves, and still leave the plant looking pretty well. 
The reason this stray plant is so strong, while the parsley 
sown in the row next the walk is quite lean as compared 
with it, is that it has enjoyed plenty of air and light, as is 
the way of vagabonds ; and hence their rude health and easy 
endurance of circumstances that would kill the pampered 
ones right away. Now and then a stray plant of Virginia 
stock may be seen in like manner, and then what a plant it 
is ! We have met with single plants measuring six to nine 
inches across a dense mass of healthy herbage, completely 
smothered with flowers half as large again as those produced 
on the thin, wiry plants where they are crowded in clumps 
on the regulation pattern. And yet this lesson, so obvious 
and so forcibly taught by nature, amateur gardeners are 
very slow to learn, and they will go on sowing Virginia 
stock and mignonette as if they would pave the ground 
with the seed ; and, when the plants are up, will throw 
away the second chance of success by refusing to thin 
the plants, as they should, to from three to six inches 
apart. 

Annuals are occasionally grown in first-rate style, and 
if well selected are, in the early part of the summer, re- 
markably effective. There is almost only one point of 
importance in the practice, and it consists in sowing the 
seeds in the autumn. 



THE VIRGINIA STOCK. 83 

Let us now address ourselves to this subject. When 
annuals are sown in autumn, it should be on poor, dry 
ground. The object is to build up the plant slowly, as a 
mountaineer that is thinly fed becomes sturdy through 
constant exposure to all the airs of heaven more than by 
the aid of such nourishments as are strewn in the lap of 
luxury. The time of sowing must be regulated by the 
latitude and local circumstances : in the far north, the end 
of July is none too soon; in the midlands, the middle of 
August is soon enough ; in the south, the sowing may be 
prudently delayed until September ; and in the far south, 
where geraniums often live through the winter, October is 
soon enough. The object of sowing in autumn is to give 
the plant the longest possible time to accumulate the sub- 
stance requisite to the production of flowers. But if we 
sow too early for the district, the plants may become stout 
and succulent before the winter frost occurs, and when the 
frost comes it may kill them. Hence the necessity of in 
some degree adapting the season of sowing to the averages 
of the local climate. 

The safest mode of procedure is to sow in an open spot, 
on poor soil, and thin the plants to about two inches apart 
before they touch one another. In spring, when the weather 
is favourable, transplant them to the spots whereon they are 
required to flower, and do this as early as possible, that they 
may become well established before they begin to throw up 
their flowers. In a mild, open season the middle of February 
is none too soon for this work ; but it should anywhere be 
completed before March is out. 

In places much exposed, where there might be a risk of 
losing the stock in the winter, the seed may be sown on 
beds made up for the purpose in turf pits. In this case 



84 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

they must have plenty of air to keep them short in 
statm-e and hardy in constitution. 

The following are the most useful sorts of annuals for 
sowing in autumn : Calandrinia grandiftora, rich purple, 
twelve inches in height; C. speciosa, purple, twelve inches; 
Calliopsis bicolor, golden yellow, three feet ; Clarkia elegans, 
lilac, two feet ; C. pulchella, rose-purple, eighteen inches ; 
Collinsia bicolor, purple and white, twelve inches ; C. mul- 
ticolor, crimson and white, twelve inches; C. verna, blue 
shaded, twelve inches; Ert/simum Peroffskianum, orange- 
yellow, exceedingly showy, eighteen inches; Eschscholtzia 
crocea, orange, twelve inches ; Gilia tricolor, white and 
purple, twelve inches ; Godstia Lady Albemarle, brilliant 
crimson; G. rnbicunda splendens, purple, eighteen inches; 
Iberis nmbellata, in variety, ten inches ; Ne mop hi la in- 
signis, blue, six inches; Platystemon calif or nicum, sulphur- 
yellow, six inches; Saponaria calabrica, deep rose-pink, 
twelve inches; Silene pendula, pink, fifteen inches; 
Viscaria ocnlata, rose-purple, eighteen inches. 





BLUE LOBELIA. 

Lobelia erinus. 

PLANT so well known as the little 
blue lobelia may appear capable of 
telling its own story, but it is not 
so; and there is so much in the 
story that we must be business- 
like, and avoid sentiment and 
gossiping. It represents a pretty 
group of dwarf-growing, wiry- 
habited, free-flowering plants, the 
flowers of which are mostly of 
some shade of blue, but occasionally 
white, rosy purple, and pucy pink. 
They are all annuals or perennials, 
according to the treatment they 
receive and the kind of season 
they have passed through. In a 
hot dry summer they produce an 
abundance of seed, and become ex- 
hausted. In this case the old 
plants are likely to die during the winter, however much 
care may be taken of them. After a wet cool summer 
the old plants are likely to survive the winter, if potted 
and housed sufficiently early in the autumn. 

In the cultivation of these dwarf lobelias, the saving 



86 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

of old plants is resorted to only for the purpose of 
supplying cuttings in spring 1 , annual renewals of the 
plants being absolutely needful if a free growth and 
an abundant bloom be desired. A quick way of making 
stock is to tear the plants to pieces in the autumn, and 
pot the little rooted tufts in sandy soil and store them 
away in a greenhouse or pit. The section known as 
"pumila," consisting of very dwarf cushion-like plants, 
may be very well propagated by this method, but the more 
wiry ones, such as ramosa and elegans, are best grown 
from cuttings. They may all be most easily grown from 
seeds sown in pans in February or March, and afterwards 
pricked out to become strong in time for bedding, or the 
seed may be sown in April where the plants are to 
remain to flower, and if thinned in good time the plants 
will do very well, although/ of course, they will flower 
somewhat late. 

All the Ipbelias, including the grand " cardinalis " 
section, require a deep, rich, moist soil, and therefore, if 
the soil of the garden is dry and poor, plenty of leaf- 
mould, rotten turf, and old. hotbed manure should be 
dug in where the lobelias are to be planted. None of 
them are quite hardy, but none of them are particularly 
tender, therefore moderate protection in a cool house or 
pit will in general suffice for their preservation during 
winter, but long-continued frosts will certainly prove 
fatal to them. As they are a thirsty lot, an overdose 
of water at any time will scarcely trouble them ; and if, 
amongst the arrangements for bedding plants, any house 
or pit proves too damp for geraniums, it will probably 
happen that lobelias may be wintered there with perfect 
safety. 



BLUE LOBELIA. 87 

The genus was named by Linnaeus in honour of a 
remarkable man, who was one of the true founders of 
botanical science. Matthias de Lobel was born at Lisle 
in 1538, and was trained to the medical profession, under 
the physician Rondelet, in whose honour the fragrant 
rondeletia was named. Lobel, according to the good 
custom of his time, prepared himself for the business of 
life by travel, and in his wanderings he picked up a lot 
of knowledge about plants. He settled as a physician 
at Antwerp, but soon after went to Delft, where he was 
appointed physician to William Prince of Orange. Some 
time after this, but at what date no one can tell, he 
came to England, and published in London, in 1570, 
his " Novum Stirpium Adversaria," the object of which 
was to investigate the botany and materia medica of the. 
ancients. Now it is of the utmost importance, in con- 
nection with the history of plants, to bear in mind that 
this work contains the germ, and a large and good germ, 
of the natural system. Lobel grouped the plants into 
tribes and families by their affinities, which is the essence 
of the natural system ; and it is somewhat surprising that 
Linnaeus did not work on this basis instead of framing 
his own artificial system, which, with all its ingenuity, 
is comparatively valueless even as an aid to the memory, 
although it becomes useful in spite of its inherent weak- 
ness of principle when it happens to agree with the 
natural system in the case of such groups as the grasses 
and the composites. 

Lobel was an industrious author and a consistent 
worker in the garden. Under the patronage of Lord 
Zouch he established a physic garden at Hackney, and in 
due time was appointed king's botanist by James I., but 



88 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

probably without a salary, and with but few official duties. 
In 1576 he published his " Observationes," wherein may 
be found the sources of much of the information embodied 
in Parkinson's " Theatrum Botanicum " and other works 
of the time that now surprise us by their erudition, their 
comprehensiveness, and the delightful accuracy of their 
engravings. 

The lobelias are widely scattered, but there are not 
many of them. There are two British species, namely, 
L. urens, a very rare plant, found on heaths near Axmin- 
ster, and L. Dortmanna, a rather showy water-plant with 
blue flowers. The " erinus " section are natives of the 
Cape of Good Hope, and comprise L. licolor and L. cam- 
panulata, from which many of the garden varieties have 
been bred. The splendid plants of the " herbaceous " 
section, comprising L. cardinalis, L. splendens, and L. 
f-iilgens, are natives of Mexico. 





COM ME LIN A. 




THE COMMELINA. 

Commelina ceelestis. 

IKES and dislikes, as regards flowers 
and plants, are not very easy to 
explain, and we shall not now at- 
tempt to say why it is that many 
people dislike the Commelina and 
the Tradescantia and the rest of 
the " spiderworts." However, it 
may not be improper to remark 
that in proportion as taste is in- 
fluenced by knowledge it becomes 
universal. Large-minded and gene- 
rous-hearted people discover beau- 
ties and points of peculiar interest 
in all the works of nature, and we 
may reasonably expect to find the 
wise ones of this generation unen- 
cumbered with prejudices in their 
observation of the wonders that 
spring up around them. 
The Commelina takes its name from the Dutch bota- 
nists, J. and G. Commelin, whom it thus keeps in remem- 
brance, just as its near ally, the Tradescantia, is named 
after John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I., a man who 
contributed in an eminent degree to advance the botany 



90 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

and horticulture of his day, which were not altogether 
favourable to science. The genus has a wide geographical 
range, but a majority of the species are American. The 
plant figured is the best known of all, and is certainly a 
very charming subject for pot or border culture. Although 
a perennial, it may be grown as an annual by sowing the 
seeds in heat and nursing the plants under glass until 
May, when they should be carefully hardened by gradual 
exposure to the free air, and be planted out towards the 
end of the month. The tuberous roots may be preserved 
in the same way as dahlia roots, but should never be quite 
dry ; the best way to keep them is to take them up early 
in October, and, having removed the stems, pack them in 
moist sand in a large flower-pot, and put this under the 
greenhouse stage where no damp will reach it, for if the 
roots get wet in winter they will rot. As it is such an 
easy matter to raise a stock from seed, there is no great 
inducement to keep the roots. Nevertheless, they are 
useful to the cultivator who cannot conveniently raise 
early seedlings, because he may sow the seed in the open 
border at the end of May and take up good roots in 
October, and by keeping these make sure of a good bloom 
in the season following. If the tubers are planted at 
the end of May they will begin to grow immediately and 
make fine plants ; but a better way is to start them into 
growth in pots in a frame or greenhouse first, and defer 
planting until the early part of June. Supposing there 
is no need to save the roots, they may still be turned to 
account ; when boiled in salt and water and served with 
white sauce they constitute an agreeable table vegetable, 
and thus the flower garden may in this respect be made 
sttbservient to the dinner table. 



THE COMMELINA. 91 

All the species of Commelina require a light, rich soil 
and a sunny situation, but they will bear a certain amount 
of shade. There are a few hardy species with blue flowers, 
the best of which are C, erecta, C. fasciculata, and C. 
Vifffinicaj but these are only known in botanic gardens, 
and the amateur will in most cases have to content himself 
with the charming blue-flowered plant which is the subject 
of the accompanying figure, and its two beautiful varieties. 
One of these (Commelina calestis alba) has white flowers, 
and the other (C. caelestis variegata] has variegated leaves. 

The Virginian spiderwort (Tradescantia Virginicd] is a 
capital border plant, for it will grow in almost any soil, 
and gives plenty of flowers all the summer through. We 
have had it thriving amazingly in a wet clay, the varie- 
ties being at least a dozen in number, and we have seen 
it scarcely less happy in old worn-out garden loam or sandy 
peat. The deep violet blue, which is considered the typical 
form, is extremely beautiful in the contrast of its golden 
anthers with the violet satin of its petals. The white 
variety also is extremely beautiful. Those who want more 
than these two will have no difficulty in obtaining the 
blue and white, the double blue, the single red, and the 
single blue. They have but to be planted and left alone, 
and they will do their duty. They are not out of place 
on a rockery, but are not good enough for a really choice 
rockery, for, though curious and beautiful, there is a weedy 
and common tone about them, and a rockery must be ex- 
tensive to admit such things. Propagation is best effected 
by division in spring, and those who are unaccustomed to 
propagate plants may be advised to avoid minute division, 
being content to divide a clump into two or three good- 
sized pieces rather than make of it as many as possible. 



92 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The best figure of the plant that we have met with 
in any botanical work is in Sweet's " British Flower 
Garden " (t. 3). It is also figured in the Botanical Maga- 
zine (t. 1659) as C. tuberosa, which Sweet regards as a 
mistake ; for, he says, this has " smooth leaves and 
hairy peduncles, whereas C. tuberosa has hairy leaves and 
smooth peduncles/' The very broad views that now prevail 
in respect of the characters of species would sanction the 
opinion that these two " species " are but two forms of 
the same plant ; but we must not encumber these pages 
with the heavy arguments that might be needful to estab- 
lish exact identity. Certain it is that " species " are now 
more boldly separated than in the days of Sweet and 
Herbert and Haw T oiih. After all, more depends perhaps 
on words than ideas that is, in respect of these verbal 
distinctions. What one regards as a species, another may 
regard as a mere variety, and the difference of terminology 
will not matter much in the end, provided all behold the 
truth as nature presents it to our notice. 





COLUMBINE. 




THE COLUMBINE. 

Aquilegia vulgaris 

NCE more we have to discourse 
upon an "old-fashioned" garden 
flower that everybody knows 
and loves, and yet very few 
make it the subject of any special 
care in cultivation. It is as- 
tonishing how well it can take 
care of itself, as indeed do all 
the aquilegias, for they scatter 
their seeds freely and appear in 
all sorts of places, and it requires 
a rough hand and hard heart 
to root them out and call them 
" weeds. " According to the de- 
rivation of the word from the 
Latin columbina, a columbine 
should bear a likeness in some 
way or other to a dove or pigeon. 
If there be any resemblance, however, it is of a round- 
about sort. The nectaries are rather peculiar, and may 
be likened to the heads of pigeons. The Latin name 
aqnilcffia means " like an eagle," and so in both languages 
the flower suggests the existence of a bird. 

The common columbine is a British plant, by no 



94 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

means common, though in a few places plentiful, its 
favourite haunts being woods and coppices. When 
grown in the garden border it scatters its seeds plen- 
tifully, and thus renews itself without any care. But 
fine flowers are not often obtained from the plants 
thus naturalised in the garden. There must be careful 
selection and good cultivation to insure the establishment 
of a good strain, and none but the best should ever be 
allowed to remain after the first flowers have been seen. 
The double kinds are certainly handsomer than the 
single, and as they do not produce seed, or at all 
events but little, they must be multiplied by division. 
Any good soil will suit them, and.they bear partial 
shade without injury. 

The economy of the reproduction of this flower is de- 
serving of study. The nectaries, that may be likened to the 
heads of birds, secrete a syrup that appears to be needed 
to promote the growth of the stamens. These are pro- 
duced in a series of circles which have been perfected suc- 
cessively from within outwards, each series changing from 
a recurved to an erect attitude to discharge its pollen, 
the result being a very abundant production of seed. 

The hardy species of columbines that may be met 
with in gardens where choice plants are cherished have 
no place in the catalogue of " familiar " flowers. They 
are, however, extremely beautiful and intensely inte- 
resting. The most useful of all is the noble blue and 
white Aquilegia glandwlosa, which rises to a foot in 
height, and produces a profusion of flowers. Aquilegia 
carulea is the most beautiful of all, though it is cer- 
tainly not showy ; its large and singular flowers blue 
and white, and tipped with green, and as it were twisted 



THE COLUMBINE. 95 

tog-ether are rare and delicate, but make no appeal to 
the casual eye. The showiest of the series are Aquilegia 
Skinneri, a bold plant,, rising a yard high, with red and 
yellow flowers ; and Aquilegia truncata, about the same 
height, the flowers bright orange-scarlet. The Alpine 
columbine (A. Alpina) is a charming plant, the height 
about a foot, the flowers wholly blue, or with white 
centre. Although some of these are comparatively new, 
they belong properly to the " old-fashioned " class, and 
are of the kind Clare had in his mind when he wove 
a garland such as the heart will not willingly let die. 

' ' The shining pans y, trimmed with golden lace ; 
The tall topped lark-heeln, feathered thick with flowers ; 
The woodbine, "climbing o'er the door in bowers ; 
The London tufts of many a mottled hue ; 
The pale pink pea, and monkshood darkly blue ; 
The white and purple gillyflowers, that stay 
Lingering in blossom summer half away ; 
The single blood walls, of a luscious smell, 
Old-fashioned flowers which housewives love so well ; 
The columbines, stone blue, or deep night brown, 
Their honey-comb like blossoms hanging down ; 
Each cottage garden's fond adopted child, 
Though heaths still claim them, where they yet grow wild ; 
With marjoram knots, sweet brier, and ribbon grass, 
And lavender, the choice of every lass." 

During the past two or three years a new and very 
welcome delight has been given to the flower-loving public 
in the exhibition of new varieties of columbines, by those 
eminent collectors and cultivators of rare plants, Messrs. 
Veitch and Son of Chelsea. At festival meetings of the Royal 
Horticultural and Royal Botanic Societies these new types 
have been presented in large groups, tastefully arranged, 
and have taken captive the eyes of many visitors, who 



96 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

have found it hard to believe that such exquisitely beau- 
tiful subjects might be grown to perfection in any open 
garden with the aid of sunshine and fresh air. It is 
customary for the first agreeable impression of a new 
plant or flower to be accompanied by the thought that 
it must be of exotic production, requiring hothouse cul- 
tivation, and so of course these new aquilegias were 
regarded as rare and tender, whereas they may be grown 
by the thousand and the ten thousand from seed costing 
but a small sum, and what is called a " common garden 
border" will suffice for all their needs. The raiser of 
these charming varieties was Mr. James Douglas. 





WINTER JASMINE. 




THE WINTER JASMINE. 

Jasminum nudiflorum. 

VERY known jasmine is worth 
growing if space can be found 
for it and taste inclines to it. 
We cannot expect everybody to 
grow everything, and therefore 
we deprecate the earnestness of 
those writers in horticultural 
papers who devote their fine 
energies to the abuse of people 
who grow what suits themselves 
in defiance of the dictates of their 
egotistical critics. The jasmine 
now under consideration is not 
adapted for any great variety of 
uses, but it is a pretty thing to 
grow on a wall near doors and 
windows, because in the dark days 
of winter it will be all alive and 
full of golden light with its generous display of yellow 
flowers. As these appear when the plant is as yet with- 
out a leaf, it is called the naked flowering jasmine 
(Jasminum nndiflorutn) . 

This jasmine was introduced from China by the late 
Mr. Robert Fortune, as one of the results of his memorable 



98 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

and successful expedition on behalf of the Royal Horti- 
cultural Society, in the years 1843 to 1846. It is a hardy 
deciduous shrub so hardy, that although we have had 
some half-dozen terrible winters since it became established 
in the country, we have never heard of an instance of its 
being destroyed or even seriously injured by severe frost. 
Accustomed as we are to " floral surprises " which do not 
cease to " surprise " even when one gets used to them we 
think we were never more surprised than in the month 
of March, 1880, when on the first look round after about 
three months of the most destructive and horrible frost 
and fog, we found on the wall beside the garden door a 
delicate stippling of the yellow flowers, with an under- 
colour of the grass-green branches of this storm-defving 
and most cheerful jasmine. It was like life starting from 
the grave, and at all events it was an assurance that the 
grave had not closed over all things, as it seemed likely to 
do, when the twelve days' fog of the preceding February 
had carried both heart-break and sorrow into innumerable 
homes where the winter had begun with mirth and gladness. 
Such a plant is a pearl of great price, although it may be 
bought with a shilling, and will grow anywhere, even in 
the stuff the builders call " dirt/' As any soil will suit 
this plant, so will any aspect. 'But a sheltered corner, and 
if possible a dry, warm, sandy soil, should be chosen for it, 
in order to secure its flowers- in plenty in the very depth of 
winter. Then you have but to nail it carefully to the wall 
or fence, and prune it just enough to keep it tidy. To 
employ the knife in any way, with a view to promote the 
production of flowers, will prove a grave mistake. Let 
your tree grow in its own way, and it will flower in its own 
way, and that will be the best way. But you may cut a 



THE WINTER JASMINE. 99 

little here and a little there to insure regularity of growth, 
and if any portion of the tree appears exhausted through 
age, cut the branch away to the base, and at the same 
time remove a few inches of the -top soil, supplying its 
place with fresh turfy soil or half-rotten stable-manure. 
There must be no " cut-and-come-again " practice with 
this jasmine, or you may have to whistle for flowers, 
and that is a profitless pastime on a winter day when 
the wind already whistles too loud for any one to hear 
your piping. 

There are several fine species of jasmine adapted for 
general use that are but little known. Jasminumfruticans 
is of upright habit, with dark green glossy leaves and 
yellow flowers. /. humile is like the last in general 
character, but more humble in growth ; the flowers are 
yellow. /. revolutum makes a handsome bush, the leaves 
dark green, the flowers yellow and fragrant. All these 
are hardy, and flower during the summer. In places well 
favoured as to climate a few fine species that are a trifle 
tender may be planted, such as /. puligernm, J. Wal- 
lichianum, and J. heteropkyllum, which have yellow flowers ; 
and J. Azoricuin and J. odoratissinmm, which have white 
flowers. Any good soil will suit this group, but they 
need dryness and warmth, and are quite too tender for 
the climate of London. The fruits of the jasmines are 
not often seen, but in hot dry seasons the common white 
jasmine (/. cfficinale] will in favourable localities produce 
quite a crop of its round berries, of the size of smallish 
peas, and of a dark colour. 

If you happen to have any extent of walls that might 
with advantage be devoted to the production of winter 
flowers, the following may be planted with a prospect of 



100 



FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 



happy results : Chimonanthus fragrans, a very fine subject 
when in a snug 1 , sheltered nook ; Chimonanilms grandiflorus 
and C. luteus ; Forsytkia viridissima, Garrya elliptica, and 
Cydonia Japonica. The first and the last of the list are 
the best, and any good soil will suit them. 

" When thy heart, in its pride, would stray 

From the first pure loves of its youth away 

When the sullying breath of the world would come 

O'er the flowers it brought from its childhood's home, 

Think thou again of the woody glade, 

And the sound by the rustling ivy made 

Think of the tree at thy father's door, 

And the kindly spell shall have power once more." 

HEMANS. 





BROWALLIA 




THE BEOWALLIA. 

Browallia elata. 

not little things possess a special 
value of their own, as great or 
even exceeding the value of larger 
things ? Pearls, rubies, emeralds, 
diamonds, and forget-me-nots, for 
instance, which are certainly small 
as compared with cabbages, cauli- 
flowers, and pumpkins. And hav- 
ing mentioned forget-me-nots, 
we are tempted to speak of this 
Browallia as the American, or 
more properly, perhaps, the Occi- 
dental forget-me-not, for it comes 
from the tropical parts of the 
western continent, which nobody 
ever thinks of when America is 
mentioned, the northern parts 

thereof having a monopoly of our attention. There is 
another and nearly allied species called B. demissa, but 
it is not much grown, for the simple reason that it is 
not so good a plant as elata, of which there are two 
varieties the blue, which is here figured, and the white, 
which diffei-s only in the colour of the flowers. 

To grow this pretty annual it is necessary to sow the 



102 FAMILIAR GAEDEN FLOWERS. 

seed in light, rich soil in the month of March, and put the 
pan containing the seeds on a mild hotbed or in a warm 
greenhouse. When the plants are somewhat forward they 
should be pricked out into pans or pots, and have another 
term of culture in a warm house, and having been hardened 
by careful exposure to the air, be planted out where they 
are to flower. The rough treatment that suits some half- 
hardy annuals will simply fail to produce a fair bloom of 
this pretty plant, for it requires a long season of growth 
before flowering, and is decidedly tender in constitution. 
When well grown, however, it is replete with refined 
beauty, owing to the profusion and delicacy of its tiny 
slaty-blue flowers, and so we recommend the diligent 
amateur who can care for little things to grow a few nice 
specimens in pots. Having raised the plants on a moderate 
hotbed, prick them out to strengthen as already advised, and 
instead of planting them out to flower, put them in eight- 
inch pots, about four plants to a pot, using rich, light soil, 
and grow them on in the greenhouse, training them up with 
care, and keeping them near the glass and well ventilated. 

The elegant Schizant/ius pinnatus, S. porrigens, S. 
Grahami, and S. retusus are closely allied to the Browallia, 
and may be grown in the same way, but are less in need of 
heat, as they are hardier. At all events, the two first- 
named are hardy enough to be sown on the open border, 
but are good enough to repay the trouble of growing them 
well in pots, for they make most charming specimens ; and 
the better if sown in autumn, so as to have a long season 
of growth before flowering. 

These flowers belong to the important order ScropJm- 
larineaR, in which we find not only the Browallia and 
schizanthus, but the calceolaria, verbascum, antirrhinum, 



TEE BROWALLIA. 103 

the pentstemon, and the mimulus, with many more 
garden favourites that to the casual eye have but few 
traces of a family likeness. 

The Browallia was so named by Linna?us in remem- 
brance of J. Browallius, Bishop of Abo, which was for- 
merly the seat of government in Swedish Finland, and still 
is the seat of a Lutheran archbishopric, although now it is 
a Russian and not a Swedish city, having passed over with 
the whole of Finland at the peace of Frederickshamm in 
1809. Finland was a botanical playground to Linnaeus, 
and its capital Abo was to him the most important, 
because it was the nearest centre of learning and liberal 
thought. Commemorative names of plants are in many 
respects objectionable, but there is something to be said 
in their favour, and in any case the names that Linnaeus 
bestowed on plants " tb^ world will not willingly let die." 
Of one flower in particular may this be said, for the delicate 
two-flowered Linnaea, the Linncea borealis of the botanist, 
he named after himself. It is a humble creeping shrub 
of the cold morasses of the north, producing exquisitely 
beautiful though unattractive miniature bell-flowers in 
pairs. The great botanist, remembering his own humble 
origin, and conscious of a merit that then had not been 
generally recognised, chose this flower for the emblem of 
his own career, and described it as " a little northern 
plant, flowering early, depressed, abject, and long over- 
looked." It may not be too wide a departure from the 
course set before us to remark that in those few words 
we have a great poem, wanting neither verse, nor rhyme, 
nor music to indicate the pathos that cannot be concealed. 
Linnaeus was indeed a poet, though he was and is properly 
ranked among the soldiers of science. 



104 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The Browallias may be advantageously employed to 
embellish the greenhouse and conservatory during the 
summer. For this purpose we have not so great a variety 
of flowers as may appear from a casual consideration of the 
subject, because a large proportion of decorative plants 
thrive so much better when planted out than when kept in 
pots and flowered under glass. These little tropical forget- 
me-nots enjoy the shelter and comparatively uniform tem- 
perature of the greenhouse during the summer, and in 
places where the climate is usually unfavourable to tender 
plants in the open ground it is advisable not to plant 
them out, but to grow fine pot specimens for flowering 
in-doors. Then it will be found that the two varieties of 
B. elata, giving flowers white and blue ; with B. pulchella, 
with flowers rosy purple; B. grandiflora, with flowers 
yellow ; and B. Jamesoni, with flowers orange will make 
an interesting collection. Associate with them a few fine 
pot specimens of the delicate schizanthus, and the conserva- 
tory will not lack interest and beauty. 





EVERLASTING PEA. 




THE 
EVERLASTING PEA. 

Lathy rus latifolius. 

;OXE of the old-fashioned flowers, 
as it is the new fashion to call 
them, can fairly stand before the 
half-dozen sorts of everlasting 
peas that may be met with in 
gardens where fashion is unknown 
and beauty is pre-eminent. When 
they have held their ground a 
few years, and have made great 
bosses of rampant growth, crowned 
and crowded with flowers, they are 
altogether glorious. They are a 
little too riotous in temper, too 
exuberant in spreading themselves 
about, for the very trim garden 
where straight lines prevail and 
the knife and shears are kept con- 
stantly at work ; and yet it must need a curious frame of 
mind in any one who, having seen a clump of everlasting 
peas in flower, should after that desire to limit their 
growth or put them out of the garden altogether. 

The rambling botanist who cares not for garden flowers 
will scarcely turn aside from these, for they will remind 
him of some of the glorious wildings of the pea tribe he 



106 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

has met with in his wanderings, such as Vicia cracca and 
l/atkyrm sylvestris, which are apt to throw their arms 
about as if the hedgerows belonged to them, and boundaries 
and rights had never been heard of in the land. And it 
is worthy of remark that these splendid wildings may be 
easily introduced into the garden by simply gathering the 
ripe seeds (of which the plants produce plenty), and sowing 
them where they are to remain, taking care, however, to 
give them a reasonable chance of struggling up into the 
light in positions similar to those they find for themselves 
in their vast domain of no-man's-land. As a rule, a sandy 
soil suits them best, as may be known by their frequency in 
sandy districts ; but they like good living, and starving land 
will not produce many vetches, whether wild or cultivated. 
In like manner all our cultivated species of lathyrus, orolus, 
and astragalus do best on a deep sandy loam. But they 
are not very particular, provided they have a good soil of 
some sort, and are left alone for a few years to become 
well established in it. Indeed, nine-tenths of the best of 
our hardy flowers only ask to be left ^alone to find delight 
in doing their duty. If they are transplanted about from 
place to place as it is the way of beginners to treat all 
their plants they take the sulks and refuse to flower, or 
they take themselves off, and so teach a lasting though 
disagreeable lesson. 

The round-leaved pea (Lathyrus rotundifolius] grows 
to a height of about two feet, and flowers in August. The 
flowers are produced in long loose clusters of a bright rosy 
purple colour. It is a native of the Caucasus, and tho- 
roughly hardy. Its low growth precludes its employment 
to cover arbours and trellises ; but it is a good rockery 
plant, and may with advantage be planted where it can 



THE EVERLASTING PEA. 107 

run amongst low shrubs, and find a little support for its 
delicate stems. 

The broad-leaved pea (L. latifolins) is no doubt a 
variety of our woodland pea (L. sylvestris). It will run 
to a height of six to eight feet, and flowers somewhat early 
in the summer, the flowers being of a rich rose colour. 
It has been found growing wild in several districts far 
removed from each other ; but has always been regarded as 
an escape from gardens rather than as an indigenous plant. 

The white everlasting pea is a variety of the last- 
named. Its distinguishing characteristic is seen in its pure 
white flowers, which blossom in prodigal profusion ; for the 
plant produces but few seeds, and thus reserves its energy 
for display. While other kinds of everlasting peas are 
easily multiplied by sowing seeds, this must be "increased 
by division of the roots or by striking cuttings. Happilv, 
there is no difficulty in either practice. The proper time to 
strike cuttings is when the new growth is rising in the 
spring, when the young shoots, being planted on a moderate 
hotbed, will make roots in the course of a few days, and 
soon after begin to grow vigorously. 

This fine plant maybe employed in a variety of ways in 
the garden. It is one of the finest of its class to train to 
the walls of an artificial ruin or about any quaint, rustic 
edifice that needs the embellishment of delicate but riotous 
vegetation. And it makes a fine bedding plant, being 
regularly dotted all over a large bed, and assisted to diffuse 
its growth by means of light brushwood laid amongst it. 
The folks who have succeeded in making grand beds of the 
new varieties of clematis will find the white everlasting pea 
a fine companion subject for them. 

The marsh vetchling (L. palustris) grows two to three 



108 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

feet high, and produces rather small clusters of bluish- 
purple flowers early in the summer. It is a bog- plant, and 
when planted in the garden, therefore, a damp situation 
will suit it best. 

The large-flowered pea (L. grandtflorus) is a fine plant, 
with hairy herbage and large rosy flowers, produced in 
clusters of two or three. It runs about four feet, and 
requires a warm sandy or light loamy soil. It is a capital 
plant for the front of a rockery. 

The Californian pea (L. Californicu.s) runs about four 
feet; the flowers are light purple and white, extremely 
pleasing. This also is a good rockery plant, being allowed 
to fall over and make festoons in its own way. 

The tuberous pea (L. tuberosa) is of low growth, rarely 
running more than three feet, and generally less. The 
flowers appear early, and are of a pleasing rose colour. It 
is a good rock and border plant. The tuberous root is 
edible, and has been sometimes spoken of as a likely substi- 
tute for the potato. But there is no substitute for the 
potato, unless it be bread which is like saying the best 
substitute for silver is gold. 








WHITE BEGONIA. 




WHITE BEGONIA. 

Begonia Mont Blanc. 

ONE of the newer kinds of 
garden flowers have higher 
claims on the attention of ama- 
teurs than the tuberous bego- 
nias. The hybrid clematis may 
rank equal in importance, and 
certainly should not be ranked 
far below them. The begonias 
are so nearly hardy, so easily 
grown, whether as specimens 
for the conservatory or as useful 
flowering plants for the sum- 
mer garden, and are withal so 
various and beautiful, that the 
lovers of gardens may be well 
advised to take them in hand 
with earnestness, and to add 
to their number by the systematic raising of seedlings. 

It is not necessary to grow these plants from seed, 
because the named varieties are low-priced and easily 
obtainable. But there is great interest attaching to the 
raising of seedlings, and we shall advise as to the pro- 
cedure. If a collection of the finest kinds are flowered 
in a light airy conservatory, there will be abundance of 



110 FAMILIAR GARDEX FLOWERS. 

seed produced. It will be advisable to fertilise the female 
flowers which are easily distinguished by the incipient 
seed-pod at the base with pollen taken from male flowers 
differing from them in colour. The seed-pods should be 
pinched off before the seeds begin to scatter, and being 
laid loosely in a clean box or glass dish, will soon ripen, 
and none of the seed will be lost. The seed is as fine as 
snuff, and in sowing it care should be taken not to cover 
it with soil at all. Prepare some shallow boxes or pans, 
with about three inches of light rich soil say turfy loam, 
clean leaf-mould, and very old rotten hotbed manure in 
equal parts. Having sprinkled some sand over the surface 
and pressed it flat with a board, sprinkle the seed very 
thinly, and then cover with a sheet of common glass. 
The soil ought to be moist enough to need no watering 
until the plants are up, but should water be needed, the 
boxes or pans must be immersed nearly to the top edge 
for an hour or two, and should then be removed. In a 
warm greenhouse or pit the seed will soon germinate, 
and the seed-~boxes will present the pleasing appearance of 
hundreds of young begonias. 

The best time for sowing the seed is during February 
and March, as the young plants have the whole summer 
before them to complete their growth. Being carefully 
pricked out into other pans or boxes, and as soon as large 
enough sepai'ately potted, they will grow rapidly, and the 
whole of them will floAver before the season is past. As 
they flower those of no merit should be destroyed; the 
best, of them should be named or numbered ; and a few 
plants may be struck from cuttings of any decidedly good 
ones that flower early. 

The result of a season's growth will be the formation of 



WHITE BEGONIA. Ill 

tuberous roots, and the best way to keep these is in the 
pots without disturbing them. If nearly, but not quite, 
dust-dry, and guarded from frost, they will be perfectly safe 
through the winter. In the month of February they should 
be shaken out and planted in shallow boxes filled with a 
similar soil to that recommended for the seeds. It is a 
matter of importance never to put them in pots or boxes 
containing more than two or three inches of soil in the 
first instance, for in a deep soil they are apt to rot ; but in 
a shallow soil they are sure to grow, the temperature of 
a warm greenhouse being sufficient for the purpose. A 
moderate amount of care will insure a fine lot of plants 
by the end of May, when they should be very carefully 
" hardened " in frames to prepare them for planting out. 
About the second week in June is, generally speaking, the 
best time to put them out in beds; but in the southern 
and western counties they may be put out at the end of 
May, and provided they are not punished by frost, it 
may be said the sooner they are planted the better. They 
will flower superbly, and in all adverse seasons it will 
be found that these frail, succulent, and comparatively 
tender plants endure wind and rain with less harm than 
any other bedders. In a dry hot season they must have 
plenty of water, but in an average season they will need 
but little or none. 

The following varieties for summer flowering constitute 
a fine collection : Mont Blanc, Coral Rose, Countess of 
Kingston, J. H. Laing, Lady Hume Campbell, Lemoinei, 
Trocadero, Mrs. Laing, Louis Thibaut, General Roberts, 
White Queen, Laing's Superba. 

To produce fine specimens some strong plants should 
be dried off and rested as soon as convenient, without 



112 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

imposing any check. At the turn of the year these should 
be shaken out and re- potted in fresh soil in smallish pots, 
and put into a temperature of 50 to encourage growth. 
When inclined to move, the heat should be increased to 
60, and after a time to 70, but beyond that it will not 
be safe to increase the temperature. When the plants so 
treated have filled their pots with roots they should be 
shifted to the next size, and be again and again shifted as 
needful, but never until the pots are filled with roots, and 
never beyond a reasonable size of pot. If the shifting 
into larger and larger pots is carried too far, there will be 
immense growth but no flowers, therefore you may reason- 
ably stop when the plants are in 8-inch or 10-inch pots. 
Then let them flower, and you will be well rewarded. As 
a matter of course they must be kept neatly staked, and 
flowers that appear before the plants have attained to a 
suitable size must be pinched out. A compost consisting 
of loam, leaf -mould, and very old manure from a hotbed 
is the best for them ; rank or fresh manure is objection- 
able, and liquid manure should be given occasionally. 





SWEET PEA. 




THE SWEET PEA, 

Lathyrus odoratus. 

T is a singular circumstance thai 
the sweet pea has been com- 
monly regarded as a half-hardy 
annual, whereas it is as hardy 
as any pea in cultivation, and 
the seed may not only be "sown 
in February in the open ground, 
but in November, and if the 
mice do not eat it the winter will 
not kill it, and in due time the 
plants will appear with the sunshine 
of the early spring. But this fine 
plant deserves extra care, and should 
never be grown in a careless manner. 
It is the custom with many gardeners 
to sow the seed in pots and nurse the young 
plants in frames, but we f refer to sow them 
where they are to remain, and to defer 
doing this until the middle of March, for if the plants 
come up with a flush of warm weather before the frosts 
are over, they are apt to be nipped, and transplanting 
puts them back, so that to raise them in pots for the 
purpose is decidedly objectionable. Thus we simplify the 



114 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

ordinary cultivation, but we must urge that what is done 
should be done well. A piece of mellow soil in an open 
situation should be prepared, by being well dug and rather 
liberally manured, in autumn or winter, and when the seed 
is sown this should be dug over again and the lumps 
broken to make a nice seed-bed ; then sow in a neat drill 
an inch and a half deep, and very soon after the plants 
appear put to them stakes of brushwood about four feet 
high, selecting for this purpose the neatest and most 
feathery pea-sticks you can find. Peas that are grown to 
eat may be supported roughly, but peas that are grown 
to be admired for their beauty should be supported in 
the neatest manner possible; therefore wire trellises and 
" rissels " made for the purpose may with advantage be 
employed, especially when the peas occupy a prominent 
situation in the garden. 

In the event of dry hot weather occurring early in 
the summer, sweet peas should be liberally watered two 
or three times a week, and if the natural soil is sandy or 
chalky it may be advisable to mulch the rows with half- 
rotten stable dung, which, if needful, can be concealed 
with a sprinkling of earth. To keep them flowering freely 
to the end of the season, all the pods should be removed 
upon becoming visible, and the plants, being thus relieved 
of the tax upon their energies the swelling- of the seed 
would entail, will maintain their vigour more completely, 
and flower the more freely in consequence. 

The commonest sample of sweet peas, that may be 
bought for a penny at the nearest stall, is worth sowing 
and growing, -and will give delight to all who see and smell 
the flowers. There are no bad sorts in cultivation, and so 
if the seed is alive, that is enough. But those who take a 



THE SWEET PEA. 115 

pride in growing fine flowers will do well to secure seeds of 
some of the named varieties of sweet peas that are offered 
by the great seed-houses, for they are distinct and glorious, 
and will contribute in a most especial manner to the 
delights of the garden, and at a cost so small that it would 
be a breach of politeness in this connection to talk about 
money. Secure a supply of each of the sorts that are on 
offer, and sow them separately ; you will then have only 
half a dozen rows at the utmost, for there are not more 
than as many sorts in the lists. Or happy thought ! 
mix them and sow them thinly in well-made ground, and 
then you will be able to gather several sorts on the 
same spot, which will often prove a convenience. They 
are extremely useful for decorative purposes and large 
" nosegays," but must be used with caution in bouquets 
and button-holes. 

Peas are "papilionaceous" plants that is to say, 
their flowers are like butterflies. 

" Here are sweet peas, on top-toe for a flight, 
With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white." 

They are also '"leguminous" plants from legumen, pulse 
the seeds- being substantial nutritive things produced in 
cases or pods which are sometimes like parchment, some- 
times like paper, and sometimes tender and sweet, so that, 
as in the sugar pea, the whole thing is eaten, or, as people 
say, the "whole hog, skin and bristles." Poor "Bully 
Bottom " called upon Master Peas-blossom to scratch his 
head, and being thus scratched by Master Peas-blossom, 
he must needs have a donkey's appetite, and desire "a 
bottle of hay" or "a handful or two of dried peas." 
Nor need the donkey be ashamed of his relative, for the 



116 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWEES. 

choice of peas was not a bad choice, and it might be well 
for mankind at large, as well as for the asinine brotherhood, 
were peas more extensively relied upon as a kind of food 
likely to " stick to the ribs.-" As regards usefulness, the 
pea family is one of the wonders of creation ; but as we 
cannot afford space to be scientific, we shall quietly quit 
the subject while our shoes are good. 

" An early worshipper at Nature's shrine, 
T loved her rudest scenes warrens and heaths, 
And yellow commons, and birch- shaded hollows, 
And hedgerows bordering unfrequented lanes ; 
Bower'd with wild roses, and the clasping woodbine, 
Where purple tassels of the tangling vetch 
With bittersweet, and bryony inweave, 
And the dew fills the silver bindweed's cups. 
I love to trace the brooks whose humid banks 
Nourish the harebell, and the freckled pagil ; 
And stroll among o'ershadowing woods of beech, 
Lending in summer, from the heats of noon, 
A whispering shade, while haply there reclines 
Some pensive lover of uncultured flowers." 

CHARLOTTE SMITH. 





HONEYSUCKLE. 




THE HONEYSUCKLE. 

Lonicera cnprifolitim. 

VERY plant has its place, as 
every dog has its day, and the 
very place for this honeysuckle 
is the wall of a comfortable Eng- 
lish cottage, whereon it appears 
more at home than anywhere else 
in all the world, not forgetting 
the woods in the south of Europe, 
wherein it plays the reveller, and 
perfumes the breeze. We call it 
British, and may find it occa- 
sionally in a wild state ; but it 
is a doubtful native, although 
well adapted for naturalisation 
in woods and thickets and the 
wilder parts of garden scenes. 
The smaller and ever-welcome woodbine (Lonicera peri- 
clymenum] is beyond doubt indigenous, and is one of the 
most widely-diffused of our woodland vines, and worthy 
of its renown in song and story. Titania, addressing the 
ridiculous weaver of Athens, says : ' 

" I will wind thee in my arms. 
So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle 
Gently entwist." 



118 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

But this passage, perhaps, we should not have quoted, be- 
cause of the grave question arising out of the distinction 
implied between the " woodbine " and the " sweet honey- 
suckle." However, we will meet the difficulty, because it 
is one of great interest. The explanation is that there is 
in English poetry more than one woodbine, but there is 
only one honeysuckle. The woodbine of Shakespeare was, 
in all probability, the convolvulus. Gifford pointed out 
the true meaning of the passage in his note upon a parallel 
passage in Ben Jonson : 

"Behold 

How the blue bindweed doth itself enfold 
With honeysuckle, and both these entwine 
Themselves with briony and jessamine.'' 

Readers of the "divine bard'' may remember that a 
certain hostess (2 "King Henry IV.," ii. 1) denounces the 
mighty Falstaff as a "honeysuckle villain " and a " honey- 
seed rogue/' by which, perhaps, we may understand that 
she thought his fair words and winning ways made him 
doubly dangerous as a creditor and a cheat. It is agreeable 
to turn from the theatrical weaver and the stout knight 
to the invitation of Hero in " Much Ado about Nothing" 

(iii. 1) to 

" Steal into the pleached bower, 
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun, 
Forbid the sun to enter ; like favourites 
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride 
Against that power that bred it." 

Now to turn from poetry to the garden itself. There 
are from eighty to a hundred species of Lonicera adapted 
for the English garden, out only half a dozen or so have 
hitherto obtained much attention. The peculiar "per- 
foliate " character of L. caprifolium is displayed in the illus- 



THE HONEYSUCKLE. 119 

tration, this style of leafage being called by the botanists 
"connate." Of the common L.periclymenum there are several 
varieties known Dutch, Belgian, oak-leaved, late-red, &c., 
all of which have some degree of special merit ; but the 
variegated-leaved variety is worthless. One of the very 
best for a good place in the garden is L. sempervirens, the 
trumpet honeysuckle, an American species, with bold heads 
of scarlet flowers, which are inodorous. Under the name 
Lonicera brachypoda we may group half a dozen garden 
varieties, such as L. Chinensis and L. Japonica; and here 
we find one of the most beautiful of the family in that 
called Aureo-reticulata, which is exquisitely rich in its 
leafage, and well worth attentive observation. It will be 
noticed that at one time the leaves are lobed like those of 
the oak-tree, and at another time they are simply ovate or 
elliptical, without lobes, for they alter in form as they grow, 
and they are always richly painted with bright-green lines 
on a ground of gold-yellow or full deep orange, which 
acquires rich tinges of red when the chills of autumn check 
the growth. Wherever this plant can be accommodated 
with a trellis, or can be carried by an arch over a walk, 
or have careful training up a wall to a height of ten to 
twenty feet, it should be allowed "a chance." It will 
grow grandly and flower sweetly, and if it happens to be 
the only plant of Japan you possess, it will compel you 
to cherish agreeable thoughts of that interesting country, 
from which we have derived a very large proportion of 
our most valued garden flowers. 

The winter-flowering honeysuckle (L.fragrantissima) is 
an extremely useful but altogether unattractive shrub. It 
grows in a style similar to a lilac, and does not climb or 
riot at all. Its light green leafage is agreeable in summer ; 



120 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

in fact, it is quite a respectable border shrub. But its best 
quality is its production very early in the year even in 
January if the winter be a mild one of an abundance of 
small white flowers that are very sweet-scented. ' 

The genus Lonicera is named in' honour of Adam 
Lonicer, a physician and naturalist, born at Marburg in 
1528. He studied at Mainz, took the degree of doctor 
in 1554, and soon after settled at Frankfort, where he 
practised as a physician. He wrote many books, but one 
only appears to have acquired a lasting renown ; this is 
the " Naturalis Histories Opus novum," in two parts, first 
published in 1551 and 1555. In the second part there is 
much curious information about plants, and particularly 
those that grow near Frankfort; and it contains a list 
of plants in various languages to which the student of 
botanical terminology may refer with advantage. 





CRIMSON FLAX. 




THE CEIMSON FLAX. 

Linuin yrandifloruiH. 

,HEN Pharaoh trembled to behold 
the plague of hail, " and fire 
mingled with the hail, very 
grievous/' he repented, and be- 
sought Moses to "intreat the 
Lord ;" and Moses spread abroad 
his hands, " and the thunders and 
hail ceased/' Then it was found 
" that the flax and the barley was 
smitten : for the barley was in 
the ear, and the flax was boiled/' 
This passage establishes the cul- 
tivation of flax in Egypt 1,500 
years before the Christian era, 
and over 500 years before the 
time of Homer, who speaks of 
it as representing an important 
domestic industry. Herodotus 
describes the Egyptian priests 
as wearing linen garments, as in after-times was the 
custom of the priests of Israel, as ordained in Exodus 
xxviii. The common annual flax bearing blue flowers 
was, in all probability, the plant grown for fibre from 
the earliest times in all parts of the Old World. 
P 



122 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

Whatever maybe the economic relations of the crimson 
flax, there can be no mistake as to its rank as a garden 
plant. It is certainly one of the most splendid hardy 
annuals known, and is capable of becoming 1 a perennial 
under suitable management. Its average growth is twelve 
to fifteen inches ; the leaves are elliptic to linear, the upper 
ones the largest. The flowers are in a loose terminal 
panicle, each measuring about one and a half to two inches 
across, salver-shaped, the colour deep carmine or crimson, 
the claw of each petal streaked with white lines, and 
divided from the limb by a transverse mark of red-brown ; 
the sepals have white margins. Thus it will be seen that 
when the flowers have been admired for their fine form 
and rich colour, some entertainment may be derived from 
a minute examination of their structure. 

To grow this plant to perfection is an easy task. The 
first step to be taken is to insure a true sample of seed, 
for worthless kinds of flax are sometimes sold for it. The 
soil in which the plant makes the finest growth is a free, 
fertile, sandy loam, but any soil in which summer flowers 
usually thrive will suit it. The seeds should be sown in 
a pan in a frame in the month of March, and be carefully 
nursed until the plants are large enough to handle, when 
they should be planted out six inches apart. From the 
time the seedlings appear they should have plenty of air 
and light, for if at all drawn or weakened in the early 
stages the bloom will be less satisfactory. A sunny open 
position should be chosen for the bed, and a few waterings 
must be given if the weather is dry when they are newly 
planted out. If sowing in a frame be not convenient, the 
seeds may be sown where they are to remain some time 
in April, or if the soil be naturally dry and warm, in 



THE CRIMSON FLAX. 12 3 

March, and in due time the plants must be thinned to six 
inches apart. They require no support and no special 
attention,, and dryness with heat will do them no harm 
if they have been assisted in the early stages to become 
well established. 

In common with most other plants, the crimson flax 
is greatly benefited by systematic removal of the flowers 
as their beauty declines, to prevent the growth of seed. 
But if seed be wanted, they must be allowed to run their 
course, and the round seed-pods must be gathered when 
nearly ripe, and be spread in the sun under cover to finish, 
when the seed may be shelled out, and stored away in a 
paper or linen bag. 

The common flax (Linnm nsitatissimuni) ; although but 
little prized as a garden plant, is not wanting in beauty. 
Its extremely light and airy style of growth, and its 
comparatively large salver-shaped blue or white flowers, 
render it an interesting if not an attractive plant. Of 
its uses it would be almost idle to speak here, because 
we could not hope in a. few words to convey to the reader 
anything that is not already well known. However, at 
the risk of retailing stale news, we will briefly record 
that we have seen flax fibre prepared for the workers 
in .Brussels lace, and have experienced surprise at the 
excessive care bestowed upon the business, while all 
wonder as to the high prices of the best kinds of lace 
was by the same experience taken away. The flax is 
grown with great care at Hal and Rebecque, and the 
retting is conducted with scrupulous nicety, to secure 
clean fibre of great strength. The thread for the lace is 
spun in rooms kept nearly dark, to discipline the eye and 
the fingers to the delicate task of rejecting all that is 



124 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

faulty and securing a thread of exceeding fineness and 
great strength. As regards the strength, indeed, some 
samples that are as fine as the threads of a spider's web 
are nevertheless as strong as a metal wire. The result of 
all this care is that the thread is worth its weight in gold 
before the making of the lace begins. There is now 
much inferior thread used in the production of cheap laces, 
but certain manufacturers of Bi'ussels maintain the high 
quality for which their city has long been famous, and those 
who care to pay the price may obtain lace of modern 
make, equal in every way to the best of laces that have 
acquired historical renown. 





IRIS 




THE IRIS, 

Iris Gfrmaniea. 

RIS was the daughter of Thaumas 
and Electra, and her office was that 
of messenger to Juno. Therefore 
it is that in the " Iliad " and the 
<^Eneid" this "lady of colour" has 
important business to transact, and, 
as a matter of course, her traffic 
between heaven and earth is facili- 
tated by that prehistoric railroad 
and aerial bridge, the "bow bent 
in the sky," resplendent with in- 
numerable tints. The hues of the 
rainbow are seen in the human eye, 
for in truth the bow is there 

"Bespeaking our fears, dissolving in 

tears, 

And looking to heaven through 
colours of love." 

Hence the eye, which is the sole 
source of our knowledge of colour, 
is the symbol of Iris, and the flower before us derives its 
name from the variety and splendour of its painting, and 
is, as our cousins of the West might say, a genuine " eye- 
opener " when summer has renewed the beauty of its bloom. 



126 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

The common iris, or " flag-," is Iris Germanica. This 
is well known by its distinct sabre-shaped leaves and 
noble blue flowers. It may be seen everywhere in London 
gardens, and yet where a London garden is managed in 
first-rate style, it cannot be counted among the most 
desirable plants for it. But we have now to do with 
its intrinsic merit, which is known to all. Given an 
ample range of border enclosing- a croquet or bowling- 
green, or a free range of woodland walks, and we have 
a suitable domain for a collection of varieties of German 
iris, of which there are about fifty in cultivation. These 
present us with all possible colours save pure yellow and 
pure scarlet. They are wonderful in shades of blue, 
purple, lilac, lavender, brown, orange, buff, and pearly 
grey, put on in blotches, patches, circles, spots, marginal 
lines, and delicate pencilling^. Any garden would be rich 
with a collection of these, and to examine and criticise 
them when in flower would afford many a summer clay's 
delight. Any good deep ga'rden soil will suit the German 
iris. 

Another remarkable section of the family is that known 
to botanists as Iris lavigarta, but in ga'rdens denominated 
Iris Kampferi. This species has been for centuries cul- 
tivated by the Japanese, and the best of their varieties 
have been subjected to comparison and improvement in 
Holland and Germany, and one result is that the named 
sorts now available for the English garden are as worthy 
of a place in it as any hardy plants known. They differ 
from all other irises in the size of the flowers as compared 
with the leaves, the large lobes of the flowers, and the 
predominance of rich deep hues of crimson and purple 
with other colours amongst them. A rich deep soil and 



THE IRIS. 127 

an ojvn sit tuition are requisite to ensure a good growth 
of Iris Kampferi, and it thrives best in open beds. 

A third section comprises those known in gardens as 
Crimean irises, Iris puinila. These are of dwarf growth ; 
they flower freely, and are very gay, while their neatness 
of habit tits them for edging flower-beds, and of course 
they would be appropriate to give a finish to beds con- 
taining the larger and grander varieties. The colours that 
prevail amongst these dwarf irises are purple, dark blue, 
pale blue, straw-yellow, and white. They will thrive ia 
any soil, but attain to their fullest perfection in a rather 
dry, deep sandy loam or sandy peat. They have increased 
and flowered freely on our heavy, damp clay, and therefore 
we are not afraid to say that any soil will suit them. 

It is proper now to remark upon a few species that are 
calculated to afford much entertainment to the amateur of 
hardy plants, and it is the more desirable to mention them 
in this notice, because they are at once cheap, beautiful, 
interesting, and but little known beyond the narrow circle 
of advanced florists and horticultural botanists. Iris cris- 
tata comes near to the Crimean iris in general characters ; 
the flowers are blue, with deeper blue spots, and wavy ribs, 
or "crests," tinted yellow and orange. Iris Florentine 
may be added to the Germanic group as nearly related to 
them ; the flowers are white, with a blue tinge and a yellow 
beard, agreeably fragrant. Iris fcetidissima has a bad 
name, but it is a tine plant, bearing lead-coloured or dull 
yellow flowers, which are succeeded by clusters of scarlet 
berries, that are very useful in Christmas decorations. A 
damp situation suits this plant. The variegated-leaved 
variety is one of the handsomest plants of its class in 
cultivation. Iris ibericot, is a remarkable plant, with 



128 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

immense dark flowers, superbly streaked, veined, and 
spotted. This is scarce at present, and may be ad- 
vantageously grown in pots as a frame plant. It is, 
however, hardy enough for a dry, warm nook in the rock 
garden. Iris Monnieri is a grand plant, with fragrant 
yellow flowers. It requires a rich, deep, moist soil, and 
a warm situation. Iris pallida is distinct and fine; the 
flowers are pale blue, with pale yellow beard ; it will thrive 
in almost any soil and situation, and may be classed with 
the German irises. Iris pseudacons is the common 
English water-flag, a truly noble species, which adorns 
with its golden banners many a broad river and sluggish 
meadow stream. It is worth a place in the woodland border, 
and the variegated-leaved variety is a good garden plant, 
Iris reticulata is an exquisite gem, with narrow, rush-like 
leaves, and flowers plentifully produced, the colours rich 
violet-purple, strongly stamped in the centre with deep 
rich gold. The extreme elegance and fragrance of the 
flowers, and the tendency of the plant to suffer from 
damp, render it desirable to treat this as a pot-plant. 





CRIMSON PETUNIA. 




THE 
CRIMSON PETUNIA. 

Petunia ph&nicea. 

LANTS of the new world often 
lack interest through sheer 
meagreness of " associations/' 
and the petunia is a trite ex- 
example of this. Its useful- 
ness as a garden flower rests 
on its beauty first, and next 
on the ease with which it 
may be adapted to a variety 
of circumstances for deco- 
rative effect. At page 10 
of the present Series will be 
found some remarks upon the 
name and character of the 
plant, and we shall therefore 
now speak of its cultivation 
only. 

The flower before us, which for convenience sake we 
name Petunia phcenicea, is a garden variety, therefore 
not to be regarded as typical for botanical purposes. 
Indeed, we can scarcely speak of it as a proper hybrid, 
but rather a cross, no one knows how many times re- 
moved, from P. violacea, P. nyclaginijlora t P. phosnieea. 



130 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

and others that have been bred from in gardens, and 
so often crossed that it is in vain to look for distinct 
specific characters in the named varieties that now find 
favour. The seed-growers select certain showy types, 
taking care to insure plants of good habit, and they allow 
them to seed in a wild sort of way, the bees being free to 
cross them as they will, and the customers who buy and 
grow the seed being equally free to select from their seed- 
ling plants such as they consider worth a better fate than 
to be disposed of as annuals, which are here to-day and 
gone to-morrow. 

Garden petunias may be classed under three heads : 
unnamed seedlings of various colours, named single 
varieties, and named double varieties. The cheapest of 
all modes of obtaining a tine lot is to sow the seed thinly 
on a well-made sunny border about the middle of April. 
As soon as the plants are furnished with three or four 
leaves, those that are crowded should be drawn out and 
transplanted to a similarly favourable spot, but as many as 
possible should be allowed to remain to flower where sown. 
When they are in flower the best should be marked ; and if 
it is desired to perpetuate them, cuttings should be struck 
in August, five or six together in. five-inch pots in sandy 
loam, and in these pots they should remain, having the 
shelter of a frame or greenhouse during the winter 
months. Thus you will have secured for flowering a 
second time, and indeed for as many years thereafter as 
may suit your pleasure or convenience, the best of the 
kinds that were in the first instance produced from pur- 
chased seed. 

Npw, if you have in you the spirit of a florist you will 
regard this little lot of selected sorts as the traditional half- 



THE CRIMSON PETUNIA. 1 31 

crown that the enterprising lad starts from home with when 
destined to marry his master's daughter and become Lord 
Mayor of London. The way to make your floral fortune 
is to plant them, let them run to seed, and thereby begin 
the world anew by means of seed of your own saving. 
You will sow, and grow, and select as befoi'e ; and there 
is in truth no knowing to what glorious pitch of perfec- 
tion you may eventually, by patience and skill, bring the 
petunia or any other flower that you may deal with in 
the same way. 

We began on a cheap plan ; but there is a better. It 
consists in buying plants of the best named varieties, and 
raising seeds from these, thus securing all that has been 
done by a thousand florists at the first start. But you are 
not bound to raise seedlings at all. If you want to have 
the best possible petunias for the least possible trouble, you 
have but to purchase the named sorts and grow them well, 
and there is an end of the matter. 

To grow nice pot specimens of petunias is evidently not 
an easy matter, because we meet with very many at exhi- 
bitions that are not nice. The general fault consists in 
the growth being prolonged and rusty, suggesting to the 
critical observer that the plants have been crowded and far 
from the glass, and in soma degree neglected as regards 
watering. The petunia is a veiy accommodating plant ; it 
is very nearly hardy, and therefore should have plenty of 
air when growing freely. A light, rich, sandy soil should 
be employed in the growth of pot specimens, and the shoots 
should be pinched back in a slight degree in the early 
stages to promote a dwarf, bushy habit ; and of course the 
training to neat stakes should proceed with every advance 
in the growth of the plants. 



132 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

When kept under glass during the summer, the petunia 
soon becomes infested with green-fly, the only mode of 
removing which is to fumigate with tobacco smoke at 
night, when the plants are quite dry, and early the next 
day to give them a slight cleansing shower of clean water 
with the syringe. All plants that are nearly hardy will 
thrive better in frames than in greenhouses from Mav to 
October, as they can be fully exposed to light, air, and 
dew, and may be protected at any time from storm and 
frost. 





THE ASTEK. 

CaUistemma hortemis. 

HIS charming flower, which ranks 
with the balsam in importance 
as an annual, has no history, and 
is nothing 1 unless well grown ; 
therefore the best employment 
of the space at our command 
will be to frame a compact essay 
on the cultivation of the aster in 
first-rate style, with a view to 
the production of flowers good 
enough for exhibition. 

It is impossible to grow good 
asters in a poor soil, and the 
water supply should be constant 
and plentiful. If grown in the 
same bed every year, it should be 
regularly well dug and tolerably 
manured, as if intended for a crop of 
peas or cauliflowers. But finer flowers 
may be secured by growing them every year in fresh soil 
that has not carried sters before, or at least only once in 
seven years or so. 

The seed is usually sown too early, and the plants get 
starved before the season is sufficiently advanced to allow 



134 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

them to be put out. The last week in March is early 
enough for the first sowing, and a cold frame will be the 
best place for the pan or box in which the seeds are sown. 
For all ordinary purposes it is not desirable to sow until 
about the 15th of April, as there is then no probability that 
the plants will suffer a check. The young plants should 
have as much air and light as they can bear, the cul- 
tivator, of course, keeping in mind that they are tender 
in constitution. If they have insufficient light they will 
become weak and wiry, and if insufficient air they will 
soon be smothered with green fly, and thereby seriously 
impoverished. 

As soon as large enough to handle, prick out the young 
plants in a bed of light rich soil in a frame ; put them 
three inches apart, water them well, and keep the frame 
rather close for two or three days ; then give air with 
caution, and increase the ventilation daily, and they will 
become strong and well prepared for planting out. 

A bed for asters should be made ready a few weeks 
before it is wanted. The third week in May is soon 
enough for planting out, and dull warm weather should be 
chosen for the business; in any case, if the nights are 
frosty, the plants had best remain in their snug bed under 
glass until a change occurs. If put out in sunny weather, 
turn empty pots over them for a day or two to save them 
from exhaustion. As a rule, they should lie planted a foot 
apart every way, but this rule may be varied as circum- 
stances may suggest. They should be lifted with care, so 
that every tuft of roots is kept intact, and should be firmly 
though gently pressed into their places, and then have a 
good watering to finish the work. The remainder of the 
management will consist chiefly in watering and weeding, 



THE ASTER, 135 

and both tasks must be pursued assiduously, or the flowers 
will be below exhibition mark. 

Well-grown plants will usually produce more flower- 
heads than they can fully develop ; therefore it is a nice 
point to thin them in good time. The beginner may 
with advantage remove all the heads save the centre and 
three side shoots, thus leaving only four heads of bloom 
to each plant. As experience is acquired, the rule may be 
varied, and it will be found that French asters require 
to be thinned more severely than German, which may 
in a good soil be allowed to carry half a dozen ; but they 
should never be thinned down to one or two, because while 
this spoils the appearance of the plants, it does not result 
in the production of better blooms, for when asters are 
grown beyond a certain degree of strength they are likely 
to become coarse. 

In a hot dry season, asters are peculiarly liable to the 
attacks of " red spider " or acarus, and " green fly " or 
aphis. A precaution often adopted to prevent this con- 
sists in covering the bed with a mulch of two or three 
inches of half-rotten dung. This should be put on as 
soon as the crown bud is visible, and should be followed by 
regular and copious watering. The healthy and vigorous 
growth that this treatment promotes is calculated to keep 
insect foes at a distance, for the sickly plant is soonest 
attacked by them. When the young plants are infested 
by green fly it is safer to dust them with tobacco powder 
than to use any kind of wash. As a rule, indeed, tobacco 
powder is always to be preferred, because dry and clean 
and easily washed off. 

The immense popularity of the aster accounts for the 
number of varieties that are offered in the seed lists, for 



136 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLO WEES. 

one of the first objects of the cultivator of a flower is to 
promote variation and establish the most distinct and 
beautiful varieties. For exhibition purposes the best 
varieties are those known as the Victoria, French Paeony, 
Giant French, and Betteridge's. 

For large beds, mixtures of colours are desirable, but 
the flowers should be uniform in style, and therefore only 
one sort or section of asters should be grown in a bed. 
Those who know the sorts well may indeed use several in 
the same bed, but the safe way for the beginner is to be 
content with one or two say a moderately tall kind for the 
mass, and a dwarf er sort for the margin. One of the best 
sorts for beds is the Tall Chrysanthemum-flowered, and 
the Globe German may be used next the margin. The 
Washington makes a fine bed, with immense flowers of all 
colours. If a choice dwarf sort is wanted for a bed, there 
is, perhaps, none better than the Dwarf Pseony Perfection. 

For pot culture the Dwarf Victoria, Dwarf Schiller, 
and Dwarf Chrysanthemum-flowered are invaluable, and 
in common with other kinds may be had in a variety of 
colours. To grow them well in pots great care is requisite. 





SNOWDROP. 




THE SNOWDROP. 

Galon thus nivalis. 

,5vT will appear to the casual reader 
that the snowdrop is regarded, 
in the light of its name, as " a 
drop of snow." The philologists 
often remind us that " obvious " 
derivations are always wrong. 
We may doubt if the sweeping 
declaration is a good one ; but 
the present case justifies it so 
far, because the snowdrop is 
not a drop of snow. The reader 
may have seen in the jewellers' 
shops and in the ears of some 
fair lady imitations of fuchsia 
flowers in precious stones, and 
called "fuchsia-drops." The 
word before us is an exact 
parallel thereto. These flowers 
are likened to eardrops, and they are called " white flower- 
drops," and that is the proper interpretation of snowdrops. 
The name is from the German schneetropfen ; it implies 
that the flower affords a type of a class of personal adorn- 
ments, and to copy it in jewellery would be in perfect taste, 
other matters having concurrent consideration. The Germans 



138 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

have schneehlnme, whits winter flower, and schneeflocke, 
snowflake. To liken a flower to a drop of snow is not 
reasonable, because there is no such thing as a drop of 
snow, and there never will be. The decorative notion of 
the name has not escaped the poets, as, for example 

' While still the cold north-east ungenial lowers, 

And scarce the hazel in the leafless copse, 
Or sallows show their downy pendent flowers, 
The grass is sprinkled with its silver drops." 

The snowdrop was known to the old or British botanists 
as a bulbous violet, and also as the Fair Maid of February, 
and by them it was properly recognised as an introduction 
from the Continent. Gerarde speaks of it as growing- wild 
in Italy, and as having been thence introduced to " our 
London gardens ." It is a native of Switzerland, Austria, 
and of Southern Europe generally. When met with as a 
British wilding it appears to be as happy as its near rela- 
tion, the daffodil, for it spreads into considerable masses, 
and though a local flower, is plentiful enough in the places 
where it occurs. There are many stations in Worcestershire, 
Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire where wild snowdrops 
may be found ; and the county of Sussex can boast of a few, 
as it can of daffodils also. When met with in places of 
its own choosing, it is usually in some degree shaded, as 
though full exposure to the glare of the sun and the fury 
of the wind were not to its liking. As regards soil, how- 
ever, it is not at all particular ; but we may say that in 
cultivation a deep sandy loam is best for it, as it is for 
about nine-tenths of all the border and rockery flowers that 
are most valued in gardens. Snowdrops increase quickly, 
and flower freely if allowed fair play ; but unfair play 
obliterates the plant, for it resents insult by terminating an 



THE SNOWDROP. 139 

objectionable existence. To do justice to it, the planting 
of the bulbs should take place early in the autumn, for 
they require time to prepare themselves for their early 
flowering-. And the next thing- is to leave them alone, for 
annual disturbance is fatal to their prosperity. 

A very serious mistake is made in many gardens in the 
tying of the leaves of snowdrops and crocuses, to make 
them look " tidy." ' What an absurd proceeding- ! Tidy, 
indeed! The leaves fall over in the most graceful lines 
when left alone, and may supply an artist with a subject 
worthy of loving- attention; but when tied they are 
hideously ug-ly and altogether ridiculous. 

The varieties of snowdrops are about half a dozen in 
number. The first to flower is a dwarf sort, called pneco.r. 
In about seven days after this has flowered, the common 
nivalis shows its familiar flowers. These are succeeded by 
the princely imperati, which rises above all the rest, and pro^ 
duces larger flowers. Plicatus is the folded-leaved Crimean 
snowdrop, known by the folding of the edges of its leaves, 
which are larger than the leaves of the common variety. 
The flowers of this, however, are often smaller than those 
of the common snowdrop, and they are always somewhat 
greener. As regards colouring, green is often objectionable 
in a flower, but its combination with white in the sub- 
ject before us is exquisitely beautiful. A variety with the 
divisions of the perianth bent back is called reflexm. 

In parlour gardening, the snowdrop is occasionally 
grown in water-glasses, in association with crocuses, hya- 
cinths, tulips, and polyanthus-daffodils. These bulbous- 
rooted flowers are all amenable to the water culture, and 
afford agreeable amusement to fireside gardeners. There 
are two points of importance in the management that it 



140 



FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 



may be well to mention. It is not well for the bulbs 
to touch the water ; there should be a space of at least 
an inch between the water and the bulbs. The other 
point is that the first growth should be made in the 
dark, to promote the free action of the roots before the 
leaves appear. When the flower-stem and leaves push in 
advance of the roots, a poor bloom may be expected ; 
but when the roots move first and spread freely, a good 
bloom may be expected, and there will . be a saving of 
time in the end. It should be remembered further that 
full exposure to light is absolutely essential to the produc- 
tion of healthy leaves and flowers. 





' 



PURPLE CLEMATIS- 







THE 
PURPLE CLEMATIS. 

Clematis rttbro-violacea. 

YBRIDS of the more showy 
species of clematis are now so 
numerous as to constitute a dis- 
tinct and large class of garden 
flowers. The parents of these 
many splendid varieties, of 
which Clematis patens, C. lartu- 
f/inosa, C. vilicella, and C. For- 
tnnei may be named as having 
afforded the strongest characters, 
are for the most part traceable 
in them by the eye of an expert; 
but it happens that in a majority 
of instances the pedigrees have 
been preserved, and therefore a 
collection of clematis may be 
studied with advantage by the scientific botanist, as they 
may be by the lover of flowers, for the sake of their beauty 
only. The variety figured is one of the most interesting in 
the scientific and historical view of the subject. In the 
year 1835 Mr. Henderson, a London nurseryman and hor- 
ticulturist, raised a new hybrid, which was named in his 
honour Clematis Hendersoni. It was believed to be the 
result of a cross between C. viticella and C. int-egrifolia. 



142 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

This "Henderson's clematis" is a fine climber, running ten 
to fifteen feet, and producing- an abundant display of large 
handsome flowers of a purplish-blue colour. One of the 
grandest natural species .(as distinguished from garden 
varieties) is Clematis latiuginosa. This produces flowers of 
immense size, the colour a soft lavender-blue or lilac- 
tinted grey, which is enriched with a tuft of reddish 
anthers. This plant does not flower so freely or so con- 
tinuously as to satisfy the exigent florists, and the question 
has arisen, What can we do to improve it ? 

In the year 1858 Mr. George Jackman, of the Woking 
Nurseries, made an endeavour to meet that question, and 
extraordinary results have followed therefrom. He crossed 
C. lanuginoaa with C. Hendersoni, and obtained two new 
and splendid varieties, producing flowers remarkable for 
their richness of colouring, their excessive profusion, and 
their long continuance. Rarely in the history of practical 
floriculture have we seen so great a triumph accomplished 
at one bound. The two new sorts were named respec- 
tively C. Jackmanni and C. rubro-violacea. The first- 
named is certainly one of the most popular garden flowers 
known. The other, of which we present a faithful 
portrait, is less popular, but not less worthy of esteem ; 
for its flowers are exquisitely coloured and lustrous, and 
are produced in the most prodigal profusion in fact, 
a verandah well clothed with this clematis will present 
during the later summer months a display of colour of 
the most surprising and delightful character. 

These two varieties have in their turn produced in- 
numerable seedlings ; and from other crosses, effected by 
various cultivators, there have been secured valuable 
additions to the list of garden forms of this hardy and 



THE PURPLE CLEMATIS. 143 

useful flower. The free-growing sorts are amenable to the 
simplest treatment; but it should be said that they flower 
so freely that they must be well fed, or they will actually 
die out and give no account of themselves at all. They 
should be planted in well-prepared soil, consisting of good 
loam, liberally enriched with half-rotten manure in fact, 
such a bed as would be prepared for climbing roses or 
wistarias ; for plants that grow fast and far need to be well 
sustained at the root. These clematis, being planted in 
the spring, will probably run ten or twelve feet the same 
season, and will flower fairly weil. The second year they 
will make a most vigorous growth and flower profusely. 
The third year they may be expected to do still greater 
things, and then they must have fresh food, or they will 
begin to travel down hill. If left alone they will still 
flower freely ; but the flowers will become smaller year by 
year, and the plants will be bare of leaves except at the top. 
If still left without help they will dwindle away, and die at 
last through sheer exhaustion, unless indeed they happen 
to be peculiarly circumstanced as regards the food their 
roots can reach. 

Thus we reach the second chapter in the management. 
When the plants are becoming " leggy " and the flowers 
small, they should be cut down to within eighteen inches 
of the ground. This may be best done at the end of the 
year, or early in January. Some time in February, or early 
in March, remove the top soil from over the roots, but 
taking care to injure them as little as possible, and put in 
its place a mixture of half-rotten manure and fresh turfy 
loam; at the same time take out a trench two feet deep 
and one foot wide at a distance of two feet from the stem 
of each, and fill this with a similar mixture. Then spread 



144 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

over all a coat of fat stable manure, and leave the rest to 
nature, and you will be well rewarded in due time. 

It is a matter of interest that hybrid clematis may 
be grown in beds, and in this case require to be trained 
over hoops to form a low convex shield-shaped mass of 
green leaves and gorgeous flowers. For this purpose -the 
best are Jaekmaiini, with violet-purple flowers ; linltro- 
violacea, with maroon-purple flowers ; Alexandra, reddish- 
violet; Magnified, purple and red; &*6eHa,foep claret; 
Star of India, reddish-plum with red stripe ; Ttinbridgense, 
reddish-lilac with mauve stripe. Another use for them is 
as pillar plants, both in the garden and the conservatory; 
but when so grown out of doors, measures must be taken 
to prevent birds lodging on the tops of the pillars : sharp 
spikes will generally accomplish the purpose. Finally, 
when grown as round-headed bushes in tubs and pots they 
are superb adornments for the conservatory, the entrance 
hall, and the public exhibition. 





YELLOW MARTAGON LILY. 




YELLOW MAETAGON 
LILY. 

Liliitm pomponiitm. 

IJRING the last ten years or so 
t'.ie cultivation of lilies has ex- 
panded and intensified into a 
distinct floral passion, and as 
the prominent leaders have 
a considerable following", the 
passion is embellished with a 
fringe of fashion, and conse- 
quently many people dabble 
in lilies who have not much 
real enthusiasm and still less 
knowledge of the subject. The 
introduction of the noble Lilium 
auratum may be credited with 
the initiation of this new taste, 
and, beyond doubt, that lily of 
lilies is the true luminous centre 
around which the passion near, 
and the fashion far off, continually revolve. It is but 
a necessary circumstance that mistakes have been made 
in the selection and cultivation of lilies, and it is now 
beginning to be dimly discovered that certain members of 
this glorious family are not worth the serious attention of 
8 



146 FAMILIAR GARD.EX FLOWERS. 

any except enlightened enthusiasts, and amongst those the 
best chance of success will be by fate allotted to such as 
have the longest purses. It was the way of Auratum, the 
golden-rayed lily of Japan, when the bulbs were worth from 
one to five guineas each, to die ignominiously instead of 
gladdening with its magnificent flowers the devotee who 
had bled for it. Now that it is cheap it lives, and the reason 
is that we have learned to manage it both as to the buying 
and the planting ; for lilies have soft bulbs, and if exposed 
to the exhaustive action of the air for any length of time 
are apt to resent the ill-treatment by shuffling off their 
mortal coil. 

Certain of the lilies are not only deserving of a place, 
but are very much to be desired in every garden. The best 
for the borders and shrubberies are the Common White 
(L. can.didnm), the Orange (L. bulbiferum), the Canadian 
(L. Canadense), the Scarlet Martagon (L. chalcedonicum) , 
the Turk's-cap (L. martagon), the Tiger (L. tigrimim), the 
Turban, or Yellow Martagon (L. pomponiutn), here figured, 
and Thunberg's (L. Thnnbergiamini). All these thrive in good 
loamy soil ; they are rather injured than benefited by the 
addition to the soil of strong manures, but rotted turf and 
leaf mould are of great service when added to a loamy 
staple, when the beds are prepared for them. 

The sorts that thrive best in peat, and, therefore, 
are admirably adapted for planting in the front of rhodo- 
dendron beds, are the Golden-rayed (L. avratnm), the 
Carolina (L. Carolinianum] , the Japan (L. Japonicuw] , the 
American L. superbnm), the Spotted (L. speeioswm), and 
the Long-flowered (L. longifloriim). These constitute a 
fine collection, and all are hardy enough for open ground 
cultivation in the warmer parts of the British Isles, 



YELLOW MART AGON LILY. 147 

where the soil is well drained, and positions somewhat 
sheltered are selected for them. The best time to plant 
lilies of all kinds is when the flowering is over and the 
leaves are turning yellow, as the growth of a lily is like the 
movement of a pendulum when the energies are expended 
above, new growth begins below, and when the season of 
fresh root-action returns, the bulbs may be transplanted 
with safety. 

The second selection which it is proposed to plant in 
peat constitutes a suitable selection for pot culture. First- 
class lilies are valuable pot plants, and if only a few sorts 
can be grown in pots for the conservatory, the best, beyond 
doubt, amongst the cheaper kinds are Auratum, Speciosum, 
and Longiflorum, for their flowers are exquisitely beautiful, 
richly scented, and last as long as any lilies known to us. 
To succeed with these as pot plants it is necessary to keep 
in mind that they should never be distressed at the root, 
and should never suffer through drought, or be excessively 
stimulated by liquid manure. Liberal treatment they 
should have, and a certain amount of fresh soil every year. 
To supply this the ball of roots should be turned out care- 
fully, and a lot of the old soil removed, without denuding 
the bulbs completely ; then they should be replaced in the 
same (or larger) pots, and filled in with fresh soil, into 
which they will soon strike roots and grow with renewed 
vigour. 

All lilies may be forced, but it should be done gently. 
The last-named three are the best for forcing, and perhaps 
Longiflorum, because of the pure ivory-white of its elegant 
flowers, is most to be desired as a forced plant. A fine 
companion plant to force with it is the Trumpet Lily, Calla 
(or liichardia) ^ffithiv^ica, which is not a lily but an arum. 



148 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS 

These two charming- plants are of about equal value for 
decorative purposes. Of the two the Calla is the easiei 
to force. 

The Japanese cook and eat the bulbs of lilies, those of 
the Common White being much esteemed when served with 
white sauce. Tastes differ, as do sentiments ; to us the 
eating- of lily bulbs seems as foolish a proceeding- as the 
eating- of nightingale's tongues or the dissolving of pearls 
in vinegar to make sauce for a leg of mutton. 

The place of the lily in literature would make a 
charming study for a lover of books, and the botanist might 
help sometimes to determine the meaning of delicate similes 
and comparisons. We cannot even touch the fringe of the 
subject here, but the thought has brought to our remem- 
brance the heart-moving story of the " Lily Maid of 
Astolat/' whom Lancelot rudely slighted 

" The dead, 

Steer'd by the dumb, went upward with the flood- 
In her right hand the lily, in her left 
The letter all her bright hair streaming down." 

Elaine, 1149. 





CROCUS. 




THE CROCUS. 

Crocus vernm. 

HE season when the crocuses are in 
their full splendour is pretty sure 
' to give us a glorious burst of sun- 
shine for a day, or even a week, 
and then the flowers expand to 
their utmost, and- surprise us with 
their splendour. They seem to 
surprise the honey-bees no less, 
for the music they make as they 
brush up the pollen is just that of 
a crowd of working people rendered 
half delirious by the discovery of 
a gold-mine. And, indeed, it is a 
gold-mine to them, or, better still, 
a bread-mine, for the pollen be- 
comes " bee-bread " when carried 
into the hive, and constitutes the 
first food of the callow-worm hidden 
in its cellular cot, and feeding itself 
up to the point when it will emerge 
as a perfect bee and join the general congregation. Bee- 
keepers cannot have too many crocuses, because at the time 
they flower the bees are more or less distressed and cannot 
travel far, and it is of immense value to them to find 



150 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

refreshment near home, and thus be enabled without risk 
to " improve the shining hour." 

The spring-flowering crocuses are as well known in a 
general way as any flowers of the garden. But those whose 
knowledge of horticulture is more than skin-deep can tell 
us of crocuses that flower in almost every month of the 
year. For the present purpose, however, we may divide 
them into two classes those that flower in autumn and 
those that flower in spring. The naturalist may prove 
to us that the season in which a plant produces its flowers 
is determined by circumstances acting through many long 
years ; but the poet has a perfect right to take another 
view of it as having no relation to heredity, elimatical in- 
fluence, or the origin of species. Good Gilbert White found 
in the crocus a sermon so plainly written that he who runs 
may read it for himself, and it might be interwoven with 
the pregnant text, " My times are in thy hand/' 

Three species of crocus claim priority of attention in 
this brief essay. The common yellow crocus of gardens 
is the Crocus luteus of the botanist. The native country 
of this is at present unknown, but it probably is "at 
home" somewhere on the shores of the Mediterranean. 
The finest of the yellow crocuses is known to traders in 
bulbs as the " Cloth of Gold " this is the Crocus susiana 
of the botanist, native of the " Levant," which may mean 
anywhere in Asia Minor. The blue, white, and striped 
crocuses are the product of the spring crocus, Crocus 
vernus of the botanist, native of the Alps and Apennines. 

The following less known species are worthy of especial 
attention by such as find amusement in collecting choice 
hardy flowers. Crocus Imperati, flowering in spring, 
creamy white with purple stripes, a very fine sweet-scented 



THE CROCUS. 151 

species, the leaves distinctly marked with a central white 
line. Crocus boryanns, flowering in autumn, white with 
yellow throat with a stain of purple outside. Crocus pul- 
<//<'/ /its, flowering in autumn, pearly blue with dark pencil 
lines, the throat orange-yellow. Crocus sativus, the saffron 
crocus, an autumn -flowering plant, the flowers violet 
with long tubes, sweet-scented ; requires a dry warm 
soil, or it will but rarely flower. The dried stigmas of 
this crocus constitute the genuine saffron of commerce. 
We say " genuine," because common shop saffron, like 
restaurant soup, is made of anything that comes nearest 
to hand, several other species of crocus being pressed into 
the service, with florets of the marigold and slices oi 
the flowers of the pomegranate. It is not unlikely that 
a very nice-looking sample might be made from scraped 
carrots. The matter is not of great consequence now, 
because saffron has parted from the fame it enjoyed as 
a drug that " maketh the sences more quicke and liuely, 
shaketh off heauie and drowsie sleepe, and maketh a 
man merrie." Gerarde, from whom the foregoing is a 
quotation, figures several " saffrons," including crocuses 
and colchicums, and he reminds us that Saffron Walden 
obtains its name from the abundance of saffron-producing 
flowers in its vicinity. Finally, Crocus speciosns is a par- 
ticularly fine autumn-flowering species, with flowers of a 
rich violet colour, striped with purple lines. 

Crocuses of all kinds require a somewhat sandy and 
warm soil, but the common garden kinds will really thrive 
in almost any soil or situation. The rarer kinds, at all 
events, should have well-drained positions and a some- 
what light soil, and, generally speaking, warmth, for they 
are natives of the south of Europe and Asia Minor, and, 



152 



FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 



even if mountaineers, are accustomed to brighter suns than 
shine in these foggy isle?. All kinds of crocuses produce 
seed freely, and may be multiplied rapidly and with but 
little trouble, by sowing the seed in light, sandy soil as 
soon as it is ripe. When the corms are planted, the depth 
at which they are placed should be determined in con- 
nection with the intention to take them up annually or 
leave them untouched several years. If to be taken up 
and replanted every year, three inches is the utmost depth 
allowable ; but if to remain a few years, they should be put 
fully four inches deep, because every year of growth will 
bring them nearer to the surface. When planted in a 
good soil they may be allowed to remain undisturbed for 
several years, but it is good practice to lift them every 
third year in the summer, and replant in October. They 
appear to degenerate in English gardens, because the corms 
we take up are always smaller than such as we plant when 
purchasing a fresh stock of the merchants ; but these small 
home-grown corms flower remarkably well, and it is quite 
a question if the large fresh corms from Holland flower 
any better. 





POPPY, 




THE POPPY. 

Papaver somniferum. 

O more interesting flower is to be 
found in the garden than the 
poppy, and a certain few kinds 
are extravagantly beautiful, 
though lamentably short-lived. 
It is essentially a classic flower, 
having from the most early times 
had a place of honour on the 
brow of the divine Ceres : for it 
was not left for the people of 
this century to discover that 
poppies love to grow amongst 
the corn. Our blazing red 
poppy, that oftentimes, as we 
hurry along through the sun- 
shine in a railway train, spreads 
abroad in sheets, and suggests 
that we are riding through lakes of blood 
or seas of fire, according as the light or the 
fancy may glorify the common-place fact this scarlet poppy 
(Papaver rhceas] is, in some respects, distinct from the classic 
poppy, for it has an urn-shaped capsule, whereas the classic 
poppy (P. somniferum}, which is the common field flower of 
Greece, has a roundish capsule, and the flowers are as com- 
T 



154 FAMlLIAli GARDEN FLOWERS. 

monly white as those of the British poppy are commonly 
red. It is, however, a sportive plant, and is met with in a 
variety of colours, of which the sample here figured is 
perhaps the most pleasing-. The distinction we appear to 
make between the field poppies of England and Greece 
must be understood to apply to them only as common 
flowers of the field, for our red poppy is to be found in 
Greece, and the Greek white poppy is to be found in Eng- 
land ; but in each case we may say of them they are as 
strangers and pilgrims. 

Our business is to regard the poppy as a familiar 
garden flower, and we are therefore bound, in the first place, 
to say that the " pseony-flowered " and the ' ' double- 
fringed " poppies that are described in the seed catalogues, 
and that are to be regarded as " garden poppies " in the 
fullest sense of the word, are really splendid flowers of 
their class, and perhaps the cheapest splendours available 
for the English garden. That they last " no time " is 
rather an advantage than otherwise, because, having 
startled us by their noble forms and gorgeous colours, they 
wisely get out of the way to make room for something 
else, as if well aware that the evanescence of fireworks is 
one of their charms : for what would become of us if they 
were to sparkle and crackle all night ? But there are other 
and nobler garden poppies, different in style, but not 
necessarily more pleasing, but, all things considered, very 
much to be desired by those eclectic souls who look upon 
the garden as a sort of open-air museum for things curious 
and beautiful. We must therefore attempt a little essay 
on garden poppies. 

All poppies, without exception, thrive best when fully 
exposed to sunshine and air,, and on a dry, gritty soil. 



THE POPPY. 155 

They prefer silica to chalk, and hence our red poppy often 
betrays the poor gravel it is rioting- on ; and its love of a 
dry foothold is proved by its happy state when located on 
the topmost ridge of some old castle wall, where it seems 
to outdo the snapdragon and the wallflower in its capability 
of living on nothing. But note what a starved thing it 
becomes when in this way beating the Frenchman's horse, 
and learn therefrom the lesson that even a poppy requires a 
certain amount of wholesome food. With this philosophical 
observation we conclude the first part of the practical 
essay. 

It is a characteristic of poppy plants to make tap-roots : 
hence, in transplanting them, there is usually a season lost, 
because the inevitable breaking of the tap-roots prevents 
flowering the next season. But if the transplanting is 
done with care during moist, cool weather, it will not be 
attended with loss, because the plants have but to be left 
alone and they will make new tap-roots to replace those 
that have been broken by removal. When the plants are 
raised from seed, only a few should be sown in a pot, and 
of these the weakest should be removed as soon as possible. 
By carefully planting out from pots so prepared, serious 
injury to the tap-roots may be avoided ; and that part of 
the business should be kept in view as of primary import- 
ance in the cultivation of poppies. 

In the selection of garden poppies, the showy annual 
kinds should, as remarked above, have special attention; 
and the shortest way to deal with them is to sow them 
where they are to stand, and thin them out in good time, 
so that they do not crowd each other injuriously. The 
most generally useful of the perennial poppies is the great 
scarlet, or Siberian poppy (Palaver bracteatuni). This is 



156 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

well known for its neat, compact growth of greyish saw- 
toothed leaves, and its profusion of vivid orange-scarlet 
flowers in the early days of summer. This forms a deep 
tap-root, and should be handled with care in removal. As 
it produces new crowns in plenty, the readiest way to 
increase it is by division ; but it seeds freely, and therefore 
can never be a scarce plant. 

In the production of the potent drug, opium, several 
species of poppy are employed. The " proper " plant is 
Papaver somniferum, from which opium of the best 
quality may be obtained, not only in semi-tropical climates, 
but in England. The drug is obtained by making slight 
incisions in the green capsules, the result being that 
a milky exudation appears in the line of the wound, and 
this being scraped off is crude opium. Of its further 
preparation, and of its uses and abuses, it will not be 
expected there should be any disquisition here. 





WINTER ACONITE. 




THE 
WINTER ACONITE. 

Eranthis hyemalis. 

'N common with many of the 
humbler kinds of garden flowers, 
the winter aconite is but little 
known to humble,, gardeners, but 
the managers of " great places" 
know it, and prize it, and turn 
it to good account in the com- 
paratively new order of decoration 
known as " spring gardening." 
It is but a little herb, with a 
dark tuberous root, producing in 
February or March yellow flowers, 
surrounded by a whorl of glossy- 
green deeply-cut leaves. It lasts 
but a short time, and is not very 
showy even at the best. 
But as one star compels attention when the sky is 
black and no other star is to be seen, so this little flower, 
which is many degrees inferior in brightness of colouring 
to a common buttercup, has a most delightful appearance 
if we have the good fortune to see it on a soft sunny day 
in February. Then, indeed, it seems to say the spring is 
surely coming, and even the frost-defying daffodils, that 



158 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

come before the swallow dares, are outdone in their haste 
to scatter gold upon the ground to pay for the reckless 
banqueting that is about to begin. In its own grassy 
nooks of sunny Italy it flowers at Christmas, but in this 
dull clime it does not often dare to lift up its head until 
the month of March, and even later, if the winter has 
been- of the cruel kind that people, as if in contempt of 
the taste of their ancestors, cruelly describe as Cf old- 
fashioned." The humble gardener, as remarked above, 
scarcely knows this plant, although it is one of the cheapest, 
and will grow anywhere. But the gardener who has to 
keep a great parterre at all times gay has long since dis- 
covered its value, and therefore he plants hundreds or 
thousands, as the case may be, to produce masses of golden 
flowers, according to the requirements of his complicated 
designs in colour. It will not be expected that in this 
place there should appear a disquisition on the bedding 
system, but it is proper to note that in "spring bedding" 
the principal elements are such homely flowers as daisies, 
polyanthuses, forget-me-nots, primroses, and pansies ; and 
where lines or blocks of soft yellow are required, the artist 
dips his pencil into Eranthis hyemalis, or, in other words, 
he plants the little herb, and leaves Dame Nature to bring 
out the colour. 

But this is not the only way in which the winter 
aconite is employed in great gardens. One of the most 
pleasing of many good features in the spring gardening at 
Belvoir Castle consists in the management of grassy slopes 
that occur, as it were casually, in connection with the 
walks. These slopes are planted with snowdrops, crocuses, 
winter aconites, and other flowers that mingle unobtru- 
sively and naturally with the grass, and their flowers are 



THE WINTER AC02UTE. 159 

indescribably charming 1 , springing as they do from the rich 
green herbage, as if, like the wild buttercups and daisies, 
they were members of the guy family of vagrants to whom 
the prairie is a happy land. 

But there is nothing new or strange in the employment 
of the winter aconite, either in the formal parterre or the 
half-wild grassy bank that perhaps mingles softly with a 
knoll of ivy. These matters are mentioned for the purpose 
of showing that a very humble and by no means showy 
plant has its uses, and is, in its way, invaluable to the 
master of decorative gardening. The little daughter of 
a great painter said to him one day, " Oh, how you are 
loading that picture with mud-colour ! " The father took 
the pretty rebuke laughingly, and replied, " Yes, my little 
cherub, it will prove the best picture I have painted, and 
enable you to ride through the mud in a painted coach/' 
And so it proved ; but it was a long time ere the child 
could see beauty in mud-colour. 

The winter aconite is a member of the great Ranunculus 
family, in which we meet with the true aconite. The old 
herbalists, in their fulsome writings, tired not of speaking 
in praise of the virtues of the true aconite. In Gerarde 
it is admirably figured under the name of " winter 
woolfesbane, Aconitum hyemale." He says : " It groweth 
upon the mountaines of Germanic; we haue great 
quantitie of it in our London gardens. It bloweth in 
lanuarie : the seed is ripe in the end of March." He 
speaks of it as " very dangerous and deadly/' as it is, and 
adds that it is mighty against the bites of scorpions : " If 
the scorpion passe by where it groweth and touch the same, 
presently he becommeth dull, heauie, and sencelesse." 

The winter aconite is scarcely to be regarded as a good 



160 FAMILIAR GARDEN FLOWERS. 

border flower. At all events, when planted in the border 
it is exposed to the risk of being dug up and destroyed 
a risk it shares in common with many good things that 
never last long where the practice of promiscuous digging 
of borders is permitted. The jobbing gardener appears to 
have been commissioned by Mephistopheles to crush out of 
existence all the good hardy plants, and to supply in their 
place geraniums at three shillings a dozen. He does his 
best, at all events, to annihilate daffodils, and paeonies, and 
delphiniums, and day-lilies, and aconites, and dielytras, 
because they do not show themselves at the time when he 
plies his spade industriously. Perhaps he ought to know 
that their roots are alive below ground, and ought not to 
be made into mincemeat ; but we must make allowances, 
for it often happens that between what is and what 
" ought " to be there is a great gulf fixed, and a man 
may be a gardener and yet not know everything. 




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